Attitudes towards announcing deaths on social media are changing. As we increasingly use social media to update on everyday life, it’s no surprise that online sites are frequently being used as forums to update on the news of someone passing away.

Our Death in the Digital Age report has found that one fifth of UK adults would want a loved one to post online when we pass away.

Highlighting that this is an increasing trend for the future, over a tenth (13%) of UK adults have personally posted online to update others about the death of a loved one, whilst a quarter (25%) say they wouldn’t have known someone had died if it hadn’t been shared on social.

33% of those who want their loved ones to post online when they pass away have already let someone know that this is their wish or communicated it in their funeral plan.

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When looking at who people will post online about, our findings show that we are most likely to post about a family member (19%). However sharing news about the loss of a friend (15%) or partner (13%) also led us online. Furthermore, celebrity deaths triggered a post from over a tenth (12%) of UK adults.

UK adults are most likely to share the news of someones death on Facebook (84%)
followed by Twitter (18%), whereas over a tenth have created a dedicated online memorial website.

When looking into the reasons we posted online to notify others about the death of a loved one we found that:

  • 47% of adults took the online approach as it was the quickest way to let people know
  • 45% did so to express how they felt about the person
  • 25% said an online update was the only way they could let some people know
  • 18% did so to stop online friends from contacting the deceased online
  • 18% worried they’d see people and have to let them know in person
  • 17% wanted to see nice comments in response to their post
  • 16% said their loved one lived their life online, so it made sense to
  • 9% said they posted just because everyone else does

 

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Our Death in the Digital Age report is the second in a series of studies looking at death in the digital era. The first part of our study focussed on online accounts, and how to close them down if a loved one passed away.

David Collingwood,
Co-op Funeralcare Head of Operations

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. David
    Thank you for taking the time to blog on this most sensitive of issues.
    As a 66 year old Co-op member who, together with my wife, each hold a Co-op Funeral Bond into which we are starting to think about leaving our children notes and instructions about what to do about and around our funeral…. it would be very helpful to hear from you about “what a good set of leave behind notes and instructions look like”.
    If we could have the benefit of your decades of experience and some anecdotes about what works well and what does not….. it would be most helpful.
    I look forward to seeing what, if anything, along these lines emerges.
    Best wishes
    Frank

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    Reply

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