NPR’s Scott Simon has been live-tweeting the death of his mother.
The question of how we deal with death now has become increasingly complex in an era when anything can be shared with anyone. We take to social media to announce our engagements, our babies, our new jobs. But should our thoughts on the dying remain a private affair? Is it fair to bring others into our own, deeply personal experiences with death through very public mediums? Are social media updates becoming another stage of the grieving process?
I think it’s for the individual to decide how much of their life to share and how much to keep a “private affair.” Sharing things publicly that are “normally” kept hidden can be a very liberating and radical act. The response can also make you feel less alone.
Personally, I have found hope and strength through the bravery of people who’ve shared their struggles and grief online. As a reader/part of the audience, it’s good to feel that I’m not the only one who goes through challenges and life-changing events.
Also, in the telling of their stories people show new ways to approach life challenges, channel grief, and recover. So it’s not about being a voyeur, it’s about connecting to global community through a new medium to find answers and support, and connect.