Grieving on social media can be beneficial, experts say

The outpouring of grief online continues all over the world for Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the other people lost in Sunday’s helicopter crash in Southern California.

For a lot of people, social media is helpful during stressful times like these.

“It’s really opened up new ways people can express their sorrow, their grief and share memories, which is a really important process in the grieving process,” said Arthur Evans, the head of the American Psychological Association.

Evans says the grieving process is different for everyone and there’s no timeline. He says social media helps because it gives people the ability to share their thoughts and get immediate feedback.

“We are social people and when we have a social connection to someone, and we lose that person socially, we are going to feel that in the same way as if we knew that person physically,” said Evans.

For some, the shock and suddenness of Bryant’s death may remind them of a death of someone they were close to.

Experts say there are signs to watch out for, like extended periods of significant sadness or depression. Also, not being able to work or do daily activities.

Evans says to reach out to the person and if that doesn’t help, they might need to see a professional.

“It may not be that particular event that is causing the person to be depressed or anxious or whatever the challenge is they are having, but it could be a participating event,” said Evans.

Past research has shown that Facebook memorial pages for people who died by suicide had positive effects for family and friends. They provided a place to go and an outlet to share feelings.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.