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Understanding Mourning in the Digital Age

Understanding Mourning in the Digital Age

Religious societies have essentially influenced how people grieve. In the past, we had more elaborate rituals when someone passed away. These intricate, meticulously planned mourning rituals are becoming less and less prevalent as families scatter and the speed of life quickens. Old customs are no longer applicable, and new ones have yet to emerge. 

The way we connect with the deceased and even think about mortality will evolve as we progress through an increasingly efficient technological world. Consequently, the process of mourning in the digital age will be completely different. But how can technology affect the concept of life and death in such a significant way? Funeral Caring USA provides some insight below.

Grieving Online

Some online groups and forums can offer people a haven in times of need. Friends and relatives from all around the world can virtually attend a funeral or memorial service as it takes place. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated these means of mourning from a distance, with travel and gathering restrictions in effect for most of the year. 

By live-streaming funeral and memorial ceremonies, we easily get together to commemorate the life of a loved one who has passed away. Those unable to attend a ceremony due to distance, health issues, scheduling conflicts, or financial limits might still feel like they are a part of the event if they can tune in on their device at home. Thanks to today’s technology, someone could also deliver a eulogy to a congregation gathered in a chapel from their computer at home. This amenity was unimaginable decades ago, but it is now extensively used and accessible. 

A Modern Way to Remember

The way we communicate with the dead is changing thanks to the internet. Although grieving people have historically visited burial sites to connect with their loved ones who have passed away, some are now turning to digital spaces to keep their connections with the dead alive. 

Today’s mourning includes text messages, voicemails, and social media. Many people find solace in keeping the digital messages they got from a loved one who has passed away. Some grieving people, for example, use Facebook to communicate with the deceased, keeping them up to speed on family news by signing on and sending messages in the hopes that their deceased loved ones will read them. 

How Online Mourning Can Be a Double-Edged Sword

Online visibility allows for support and companionship, but it also forces the bereaved to put on a public front that may not reflect their inner turmoil. Visibility also increases the likelihood of harmful remarks and, in some instances, criticism. This is evident in mourning, when mourners may be chastised for showing too much or too little emotion. As we discussed in a previous article, we all grieve in various ways—therefore, passing judgment on our grieving processes might hinder our healing. 

Our Final Thoughts 

Death is a fact of human life, yet death-related culture will never remain stationary. The internet has opened up new possibilities for us to learn about death. We all know we’re going to die. But we don’t know when our time will come or how technology and society will support us on our final voyage.