Facebook for Extending Condolences

Jan 3, 2010 | 0 comments

My friend Thelma Domenici has a weekly etiquette column in the Albuquerque Journal, and today she addressed the idea of using Facebook to extend condolences. She says it’s an appropriate medium.

Thelma gave the example of a friend whose mother recently died, and how Facebook became a source of comfort as she received support from her extended circle of family and friends through the social networking Web site.

Through Facebook, she both shared the sad news and received messages from longtime and far-away friends, who shared beautiful memories that may not have surfaced otherwise.

“I don’t think a computer message can delete the need for direct contact. When someone suffers a great loss, friends and family should do all they can and be as physically present for that person as possible. Cards, calls, visits and the presence of family and friends at the funeral service were still of vital importance to my friend’s healing, but Facebook had its place too.”

“So while you shouldn’t use Facebook to avoid other contact that the person needs from you, don’t be worried that your kind sentiments left there won’t be appreciated or will be frowned upon. I’d also suggest that you make sure the person is active on the Facebook site during his trials, as you wouldn’t want your message to go unread.”

“Technology does have a heart — it’s yours.”

A Good Goodbye