Does mourning someone’s passing on social media take anything away from the actual death?
The late Dr. Maya Angelou wrote of Nelson Mandela after his demise: “His day is done. The news came on the wings of a wind reluctant to carry its burden. Nelson Mandela’s day is done, the news expected and still unwelcome reached us in the United States and suddenly our air was somber…” Yesterday, the words of Dr. Angelou echoed and filled the globe with a very somber and sad mood as we became aware of her passing.May her blessed soul rest in peace and may she have her own custom library filled with all the great books the world has ever produced for she has inspired and written some of the best books the world has ever had the pleasure of reading.
Her admirers took to the various social media platforms sending condolences and celebrating the extraordinary person that she was. The surge in mourning messages got me thinking of what it really means to mourn a person on social media and the sincerity and respect (or lack thereof ) of the gesture.
How fitting or belittling is a mere 140-character tweet or a Facebook status update for such the phenomenal woman Dr. Angelou was? Is the mourning sincere and respectful to the honour and to her family? What impact does the public social media mourning have on her family’s privacy? Should they be subjected to the publicity that comes with all these condolences on these social platforms? Given, Dr. Angelou was a public figure and she had a lot of admirers who looked up to her. But doesn’t she deserve to be mourned by her family without all the social media fuss? Or does the fact that she was a public figure give people the right to mourn and celebrate her passing however they please? One hopes that all the tweets and posts are sincere and will allow Dr. Maya Angelous’s family to mourn her with respect and honour and understand her depth and greatness.