Hillis, Juliana. “Digitalizing Death”, Boston College, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108016.
With the increasing digitalization of society, the line between private and public has blurred. Social network sites (SNSs) like Facebook and Instagram facilitate such a process, with users utilizing the sites for public displays of private emotions or events. What was once intimate conversation between two individuals or personal experience shared only with those in one’s physical company have become public conversations and shared experiences for networks of Friends and Followers to comment on, like, share, and survey. Consequently, social media has allowed for heightened expressions of grief, a formerly private experience, online through the use of images, words, and reactions. The current study uses survey and interview data to understand who uses social media to grieve the loss of a family member (a particularly private loss), why an individual might do this, and how such posting influences the grieving process for the social media user.