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Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Social Media and its Role in Mourning Death

TwitterRadio Host, Scott Simon, stayed with his mother as she died in Chicago hospital. Millions followed Simon on Twitter when people began to realize that he was sharing his experience at the hospital. For an entire week, Simon Tweeted about everything. The Tweets have begun a discussion about the social media's place in mourning and if it is appropriate to make experiences like Simon witnessing his mothers deteriorating health public.

 Many seem to believe that because of technology and social media the topic of death will gradually increase. How does this affect our lives? Death has made it back into our conversations; some attribute this to the "narcissism of the self-esteem movement." Others believe the process is therapeutic.

Three-time cancer survivor Alicia Staley says that social media facilitates reoccurring and lower-stakes conversations about dying than traditional hospital support groups, which helps people feel like they are not alone a feeling that inevitably accompanies a life threatening illness.

See Paul Bisceglio, How Social Media Is Changing The Way We Approach Death, The Atlantic, Aug. 20, 2013. 

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2013/08/radio-host-scott-simon-stayed-with-his-mother-as-she-died-in-chicago-hospital-millions-follwed-simon-on-twitter-when-peopl.html

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