“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” – Emily Post
This quote sparked a memory of a recent dinner I had where a friend asked; “is it really okay to text about death?” I decided to explore what I’d say if I could go back to that night, with this quote in hand, to help me answer more eloquently…
Traditional and social network news consumption has/is changing in our world, we all know this. People no longer read printed newspapers, or even the web versions. Trending headlines are faster and more accessible than ever thanks to twitter, bots, reddit, 24 hour cable, and all the other channels that deliver an instant answer to “what’s going on today.”
The change in consumption of traditional news has bled into how we have become more accepting to alternative sources/ delivery of everyday/ life news. Would your grandparents take a Facebook post as official news? Of course not. But as we’ve all seen the younger generations sure do, and prefer it that way. Every day, people turn Facebook walls into memorial walls, email “I’m sorry for your loss”, or tweet out “Uncle Jack died #RIP”. So if everybody is already using these alternative channels to consume and distribute “death” news, why wouldn’t it be okay to text message friends and family about a passing?
Text messaging has become one of the most convenient way to communicate with the world around us – not just between our friends and family, but really with anyone we interact with short or long term. It’s private, concise, timely, guaranteed delivery (safe to say everyone opens a text), and most importantly lets the person take their time to craft a thoughtful message.
As long as you are sensitive, aware, and genuine – it is perfectly appropriately to text friends, family and community members about a death – either to notify them, or send condolences. It’s arguably better than a potentially awkward phone call, an email, or a wall write. They say the millennial generation isn’t comfortable with death, and to be truthful as a Gen X’er, I’m not either. Any tool that eases the difficulty in dealing with and processing this type of event, I’m 100% in favor and support of.
No doubt do I think Ms. Post is right on – it doesn’t matter which fork you use as long as your intention is sincere.
Director of Client Relations – Everdays