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- Do Clowns Communicate Evil? September 20, 2013
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- The Afterlife: Courtesy of Facebook March 28, 2013
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- Is There a Place for Social Media in Public Health? January 24, 2013
- Emotion and Emoticons January 23, 2013
But death notifications and condolence notes are still a no-no for email and text messaging. I know people who have received both. To learn of a friend or family member’s passing via text or email is just not cool. Sometimes people also learn of a passing via a Facebook post… “R.I.P. Joe Smith.” Ouch. This often leaves the reader asking around, “Is it true? Did Joe die? What happened?” Doesn’t seem to leave much room for the hug that is usually awaiting the listener if necessary when someone notifies them of a death in a face-to-face conversation. No opportunity to say over the phone, “are you sitting down?” (I actually had to say that once during such a phone call).
So by all means, blast those baby pics out and upload them to Facebook. But when it comes to bad news, pick up the phone or pay a personal visit, and for a condolence card, paper still trumps electronic.
It’s something that we all do every day. Not just by talking to each other and writing emails but when we gesture at the person in car in front of us, roll our eyes at a stupid comment or touch a friend’s arm while we’re talking. And that’s just interpersonal communication. Then there are the messages that we send in how we dress and act, and the agenda-driven communication of government and businesses trying both subtlely and overtly to get their messages out to us.
That’s what I love about communication – it’s everywhere and everyone does it. Even the person who refuses to speak is communicating something, although it may be hard to figure out what it is they are saying.