A couple of months ago, The Influence Network asked if I'd teach an online course for them. As I started thinking about what I would teach, I became more and more excited about the chance to expound on something close to my heart.
It's a topic I've reflected on a great deal the past several years: the intersection of grief and social media.
I stopped working as a licensed clinical social worker 4 years ago after several years working as a hospice social worker and child and teen bereavement counselor, plus a year as a pediatric oncology/hematology social worker. I still have a vested interest in end of life issues, both professionally and personally.
As a society, we're often afraid to talk about the reality of dying and loss. As a result, too many people are ill equipped to handle the very situations we are guaranteed to face at some point in our lives, if not throughout out lives.
There's no end to how social media has impacted our lives and the way we mourn is no exception. It's something we're all figuring out together but I haven't seen it discussed very much and that's why I thought it would be the perfect topic for my first online course, especially since the holidays- those great magnifiers of our grief- are just around the corner.
Here's the description:
Grief is an internal and introspective process. Mourning takes our grief public so to speak, allowing us to integrate the loss into our lives. What does it look like to mourn, often a private experience, when we are used to sharing everything publicly through social media? How do we balance a loved one’s request for privacy while processing our grief on our blogs or Facebook? What is it like to learn about the death of a loved one through Facebook? Can we grieve the loss of someone we’ve only ever met online?
Social media has changed the experience of grief in ways both positive and negative and we need to adapt accordingly. Leigh will define grief and characteristics of healthy mourning, along with the private vs. public aspects of grief. She’ll also address how the Internet has affected the way we grieve and connect with others, whether we lose someone from our everyday lives or a friend we only ever knew online.
The class will be Monday November 16 at 6 pm PST/8 pm CST/9 pm EST and costs $10. This is an hour-long online course through The Influence Network. You do not need to be a member to attend a class. Simply purchase your ticket and follow their instructions when the time comes. If you can't attend live, you can purchase the class and the recording will be available 48 hours later. But you must purchase a ticket before the class sells out.
If you plan on attending, please let me know! Even though we'll be behind separate computer screens, it'll be nice knowing who's out there. Plus, there will be 15 minutes for Q&A so have your questions ready!