Condolences on Social Media @ Link Wanderlust


Claire Wilmort writes about a very personal agony- the loss of her sister. It is not the grief that she feels that she talks about but the idea of online condolences.

“The way people mourn online has been the subject of much cultural comment recently, particularly in the wake of mass tragedies and high-profile celebrity deaths, such as those of David Bowie and Prince. Some argue that the likes of Facebook and Twitter have opened up public space for displays of grief that had been restricted to private spheres of secular culture. But rather than reconstructing an outlet for public grief, social media often reproduces the worst cultural failings surrounding death, namely platitudes that help those on the periphery of a tragedy rationalize what has happened, but obscure the uncomfortable, messy reality of loss.”

Death is never understood by the living and grief can never be shared, which is a problem in a culture that over-shares. Wilmort does not think that a tribute on twitter to one lost means anything. There are arguments that social media is giving bereavement a new lease of life but that’s just the problem. Bereavement needs no lease of life. It is a void, an empty space in a person’s life and can not be compensated by any kind of vocabulary. Read this beautifully written piece: The Space between Mourning and Grief.

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