Is Announcing A Death On Facebook Too Much Info?

Where do you draw the line between what’s acceptable to post on Facebook and what’s considered too much information, or TMI?

That’s what the folks at Slate have been pondering, inspired by last week’s story of Deborah Copaken Kogan, the mother who saved her son’s life by chronicling his rare illness on Facebook.

This week, however, Slate‘s digital dilemma is about a woman who recently experienced the death of her mother. The daughter’s friends asked why she didn’t post a message on Facebook?

The daughter told the site that after the shock of losing her mother, she couldn’t see talking about it on Facebook, alongside her friends’ links to funny animal videos.

Well, Slate says that Facebook doesn’t have to reflect everything in a person’s life, which is something we’ve also said in other contexts. Perhaps, at some point, the daughter might share a note about the news, but it doesn’t have to be immediately. Sharing a death notice online is a strictly personal choice.

The writer added that, when dealing with a sensitive subject such as a death, follow the conventions that governments and media organizations use: Don’t make death announcements public until the next of kin is notified. People who need to know should know first, but there is no obligation to share it on Facebook.

If you feel compelled to share the news, leverage Facebook’s lists feature to create a list for just those friends you want notified. It could be three or four friends, or some combination of friends and family. But you can control who gets the information and when they receive it.

Readers, would you announce a death on Facebook or would you consider that TMI?

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