Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: ettiquit on August 09, 2010, 10:33:37 PM

Title: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: ettiquit on August 09, 2010, 10:33:37 PM
The wife of one of my co-workers recently passed away after a very brief battle with cancer.  It's a pretty tragic situation overall, and while I never met my co-worker's wife, I've been pretty effected by this.

I became aware that the widow created an event in FB to pass along the details of the funeral.  I found this to be very odd.  Particularly, the people who bothered to decline the invitation - with something like this, why bother say you can't attend?

I'm not actually judging my co-worker about this, but wondering if this is something that might become the "norm".  I imagine this was the easiest way for him to get the info out there, but it also seemed a little..crude. 

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Sarah Silivren on August 09, 2010, 10:43:28 PM
I never really thought of it as a crude thing. About 3 or so years ago,  a friend of my fiance died suddenly and because the majority of those who knew him we were high school students at the time, Facebook was the fastest and easiest way to get the information about the service out to everyone in time.

I guess looking back at it I never thought anything of it, other than his friends wanting to rally together in the midst of sadness. Sometimes I think of Facebook (in terms of public events) as a newspaper and that's how we relay information to each other and sometimes obituaries post where services and viewings are held.

The whole declining to attend thing, however, does put me off.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Surianne on August 09, 2010, 10:45:45 PM
I don't have a problem with this.  It's a quick way to get the info out to people who would like to know.

I also don't understand what's wrong with declining to attend.  That seems like the polite thing to me -- to reply saying "Sorry I can't make it, I will keep you in my thoughts" or something similar.  I would feel wrong if I didn't reply in some way to say I couldn't make it.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Sarah Silivren on August 09, 2010, 10:48:42 PM
Quote
also don't understand what's wrong with declining to attend.  That seems like the polite thing to me -- to reply saying "Sorry I can't make it, I will keep you in my thoughts" or something similar.  I would feel wrong if I didn't reply in some way to say I couldn't make it.

True. I mean when you simply decline and leave no response. If you leave a message, I think that is okay, but to just decline with no note doesn't feel right to me.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: DangerMouth on August 09, 2010, 10:55:20 PM
Resistance is futile?

My thoughts are that 'social networking' will change our lives in some profound ways. Things that would have seemed outre when I was kid are now routinely accepted, and I have a feeling we've only scratched the surface of it. Bemoaning an outdated gentility is the privelege of the old* and the new won't be paying much attention.

Not that I believe manners will be lost, only they might not be recognizable. Look at the cataclysmic changes that happened to our world between, say 1890 and 1920. We went from writing letters to sending telegrapjs to making telephone calls, and from horse and carriage to cars. Each new technology brought new manners and mores.

No doubt some of our great grandmothers thought using the telephone to convey important news was a bit 'crude', but eventually we got over it.

*old.. I say this as a 50 yo who didn't touch my first computer till I was 25. I only got a FB page a month ago, and that was mainly to look someone up. There are kids about to graduate high school that have never known a world without the internet. Sobering thought.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: MaggieB on August 09, 2010, 11:08:33 PM
I just got one of these last week.  A guy I know died suddenly in a car accident, and his fiance and parents made a Facebook event for his funeral to let everyone know.  I think that these days it is just so much more efficient.  Within 2 hours of posting the event there were already 50 responses (yes, no, or maybe) and several people posted offering their condolences even if they could not make the funeral.  I went to the funeral and there were almost 500 people there.  That was tremendously comforting to his family, and I'm not sure all the people who wanted to be there would have known if not for Facebook.

I know that finding out about deaths on Facebook is not always appropriate, but once you know about the death and are waiting to hear about funeral arrangments, it just seems logical since so many people (of all generations) are on Facebook.  To me it seems less crude than posting an announcement in the paper, since the Facebook event is only sent to those who knew the deceased or their family. (FTR, I don't think there is anything wrong with posting in the paper.)
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: MadMadge43 on August 09, 2010, 11:15:42 PM
We had a thread about this already. I'm not one of those thread historians so I'm not even going to attempt to look for it.

The general consensus was, it's fast, easy and really no more jarring than an obituary. So really no reason not to use it.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Chinchillazilla on August 10, 2010, 01:05:09 AM
I just lost a friend and found out about it on Facebook. I appreciate having his funeral information on there, and lots of my friends are saying things like "I'm out of state and can't make it, but send my love" and things like that. So I don't really think it's rude.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: DangerMouth on August 10, 2010, 01:31:56 AM
A few months back, my friend's mom died.

My mom read it in the newspaper (print)

Mom told me (word of mouth)

I called Max & Sis (phone)

Sis texted Jaimie (text)

Max called Chris (phone, but Chris had seen it in the newspaper, print)

I emailed Marie (email)

Marie texted Maura (text)

Mauara told Jen (word of mouth)

Jen texted Jeff (text)

Jeff emailed other Jeff (email)

Chris called other Jeff (phone, but he'd already heard it from Jeff, email)

Everyone except Marie (in Florida) showed up for the funeral.

No FB, but just about everything else out side of smoke signals.

Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: ettiquit on August 10, 2010, 08:12:52 AM
Thanks for the different perspectives.  I don't think "crude" is really the word I meant.  Maybe...macabre?  Especially when Events are generally used for parties and the like. 

The logical part of my brain thinks using FB to spread the word about something like this makes perfect sense.

The emotional part thinks things like this should be more private (I'm not FB friends with my co-worker, and his wife's funeral event was public).

I'm probably in the minority, and that's fine.  I don't use FB's event feature for anything anyway, so I guess I'm more of a traditionalist.

Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 10, 2010, 08:37:56 AM
I've noticed with some FB events, you have to decline in order to remove it from your events list.
So it may not be a rude thing for them to decline, just a way to get it off their feed.

That's been my take.  An old friend from high school was hosting some kind of fishing tournament, and the only way to get it out of my feed (or at least the only I figured out) was to decline.

Therefore, that's how I deal with invites on FB.  However, the events I have been invited to via FB have been things that made me think that everyone on the person's friend list was invited (not personal at all).
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Larrabee on August 10, 2010, 08:53:57 AM
I just got one of these last week.  A guy I know died suddenly in a car accident, and his fiance and parents made a Facebook event for his funeral to let everyone know.  I think that these days it is just so much more efficient.  Within 2 hours of posting the event there were already 50 responses (yes, no, or maybe) and several people posted offering their condolences even if they could not make the funeral.  I went to the funeral and there were almost 500 people there.  That was tremendously comforting to his family, and I'm not sure all the people who wanted to be there would have known if not for Facebook.

I know that finding out about deaths on Facebook is not always appropriate, but once you know about the death and are waiting to hear about funeral arrangments, it just seems logical since so many people (of all generations) are on Facebook.  To me it seems less crude than posting an announcement in the paper, since the Facebook event is only sent to those who knew the deceased or their family. (FTR, I don't think there is anything wrong with posting in the paper.)

When my best friend died nearly 3 years ago (wow has it really been that long?) there was a facebook 'tribute' page up within a day filled with messages of condolence.  It wasn't the place that her closest friends and family went to express their grief but for co-workers, old school friends and acquaintances it was a place to pay respects without intruding on the family or overstepping the mark and overstating the relationship. 

A lot of us used it to share photos as we found that one thing we almost all felt almost straightaway was that we wanted to see every image that had ever been taken of her.

The funeral details were listed on facebook as an event but with no guest list, just everybody welcome.  It meant that people who had known her in school or as a child could come even though they hadn't been in touch and I think it was a great idea.  The funeral was very very well attended which was a comfort to her family.  Her first love, who had moved away, made the trip home to attend, he wouldn't have seen the announcement in the local paper and I doubt anyone would have remembered in their grief to specifically get in touch with him or even had his contact details.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: USC_Gamecock on August 10, 2010, 10:43:58 AM
I'm still in the camp that finds using the Facebook "event" option for birth, death, or marriage announcements to be awkward (though I wouldn't call it rude).  I still adhere to the idea of the family making phone calls (or even emails) to a few close friends (who will presumably spread the word to those slightly less close).   
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: squeakers on August 10, 2010, 02:25:19 PM
I'm still in the camp that finds using the Facebook "event" option for birth, death, or marriage announcements to be awkward (though I wouldn't call it rude).  I still adhere to the idea of the family making phone calls (or even emails) to a few close friends (who will presumably spread the word to those slightly less close).   

I have FB friends in the Philippines, in Brazil, in Mexico, across the US, in England and.. well.. all over the world.  I doubt many of them will make it to my hypothetical* funeral.  I know my kids will go on my account and let my friends know if I have passed away.  Being invited virtually may give those too far away to attend closure. 



*I don't plan on dying .. can't plan when you don't know the date  >:D
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: kingsrings on August 10, 2010, 02:48:50 PM
If FB is the easiest way for them to get the word out, then so be it. I do see it as macabre, but understandable.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: guihong on August 10, 2010, 04:35:09 PM
I don't find it any more macabre than a newspaper obituary.  It's just a different medium.  By the time I pass away, there will probably be funerals by YouTube.  Somehow, that gives me a sense of comfort that my friend in Vladivostok could have closure that way.

gui
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: USC_Gamecock on August 11, 2010, 04:08:59 PM
If FB is the easiest way for them to get the word out, then so be it. I do see it as macabre, but understandable.

I think a post on Facebook mentioning the death is fine, but I wouldn't create an "event" to invite people to a virtual funeral.  It's the use of the "event" function that's bothering me.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Larrabee on August 11, 2010, 04:16:31 PM
If FB is the easiest way for them to get the word out, then so be it. I do see it as macabre, but understandable.

I think a post on Facebook mentioning the death is fine, but I wouldn't create an "event" to invite people to a virtual funeral.  It's the use of the "event" function that's bothering me.

I think its generally used for the real funeral, not a 'virtual' one.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Surianne on August 11, 2010, 04:47:14 PM
If FB is the easiest way for them to get the word out, then so be it. I do see it as macabre, but understandable.

I think a post on Facebook mentioning the death is fine, but I wouldn't create an "event" to invite people to a virtual funeral.  It's the use of the "event" function that's bothering me.

I think its generally used for the real funeral, not a 'virtual' one.

Yes, I've only seen it done for real funerals.  And I don't have a problem with that at all--better to invite everyone you think might want to come than miss someone.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: ettiquit on August 11, 2010, 09:32:36 PM
If FB is the easiest way for them to get the word out, then so be it. I do see it as macabre, but understandable.

I think a post on Facebook mentioning the death is fine, but I wouldn't create an "event" to invite people to a virtual funeral.  It's the use of the "event" function that's bothering me.

Another one of my friends lost her very young (23) brother a few days ago.  She posted the funeral info as status updates.  This really felt more appropriate to me. 

And honestly, I'm not really judging my co-worker for this.  I was just taken aback, but I feel so bad for him right now that I'd give him a pass if he kicked a kitten.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Larrabee on August 12, 2010, 07:52:19 AM
If FB is the easiest way for them to get the word out, then so be it. I do see it as macabre, but understandable.

I think a post on Facebook mentioning the death is fine, but I wouldn't create an "event" to invite people to a virtual funeral.  It's the use of the "event" function that's bothering me.

Another one of my friends lost her very young (23) brother a few days ago.  She posted the funeral info as status updates.  This really felt more appropriate to me. 

And honestly, I'm not really judging my co-worker for this.  I was just taken aback, but I feel so bad for him right now that I'd give him a pass if he kicked a kitten.

The issue with a status update is that it slips down the newsfeed quite quickly.  Lots of people don't check facebook that frequently and would miss it, but not if they had a notification of an event or a message.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: Mopsy428 on August 12, 2010, 08:16:59 AM
A friend of mine that I went to school with (elementary through high school) died a few weeks ago 3,000 miles from where I live. Someone, with the OK from the family, set up a memorial service in this area for him. I was invited to his service and the luncheon via Facebook, which I didn't mind. The obit took over three weeks to run in my local newspaper, and I was in a different part of the country when it did run, so I probably would have missed the service.
Title: Re: Funeral Facebook "event"
Post by: audrey1962 on August 12, 2010, 08:35:36 AM
Miss Manners recently weighed in on this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080506419_2.html

Second letter.