Social Media and Grief

Social Media and Grief
Type: Webinar
Presenter: Birgit Wagner, PhD

Webinar Overview

Social media has evoked a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. Every minute billions of people share their lives and emotions through Facebook and Instagram in real time, and social media has become the primary source of communication for many people.

However, social media users also die, and the question arises: how do people cope with grief online? Social media has changed the cultural and social norms of mourning. News of death is often communicated via social media, and bereaved people look for support in online bereavement groups. Online, people can grieve the loss of someone in relative anonymity, without being in direct contact with the immediate family members. Digital resources for the bereaved include social media profiles of and for the bereaved, online support groups, blogs, memorial sites, grief accounts on Instagram and Twitter.

Even though social media can be a helpful part of coping with grief in finding social support, a number of ethical and critical questions need to be addressed. Can you ‘defriend’ a dead person? Can you ‘like’ it when someone has died? How should family members handle the social media account of a deceased person? How do bereaved people deal with negative comments about the deceased person or trolling? Is grief Instagrammable? Are online support groups helpful?

This webinar gives the opportunity to discuss these new aspects of mourning and to provide scientific knowledge of the impact of social media use and grief.

Suitable to counsellors, bereavement support workers, therapists, family members and medical personnel, this webinar aims to provide a practical guideline on the use of social media and to develop a better understanding on mourning norms in social media.

Learning Outcomes

Following this webinar you will:

  • Have learned about the appropriate use of social media and grief.
  • Have reflected on your own social media behaviour in the context of grief.
  • Acquired knowlegde of the efficacy of online-support groups for the bereaved.
  • Increased your knowledge of online mourning norms.


Presenter Biography

Birgit Wagner, PhD, completed her psychological education at the Freie University Berlin and received her PhD at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Birgit has been a professor of clinical psychology and behavioural therapy at the Medical School Berlin since 2013. She has extensive expertise in implementation of new technologies in the field of traumatic stress disorder and prolonged grief disorder. Dr. Wagner has been principal investigator in a large number of controlled trials involving Internet-based interventions in Germany, Switzerland and Arab conflict regions. She was also involved as principal investigator in several longitudinal studies and prevalence studies in the field of post traumatic stress disorders and prolonged grief. She is currently principal investigator on an online-based prevention for bereaved siblings and a web-based group intervention for bereavement after suicide. In all these studies the implementation of new technology in diagnostic assessments and psychotherapeutic interventions have been her major interest.

Webinar Details


27 February, 2019


Victoria: 6:00 - 7:30pm AEDT
New South Wales: 6:00 - 7:30pm AEDT
Tasmania: 6:00 - 7:30pm AEDT
South Australia: 5:30 - 7:00pm ACDT
Queensland: 5:00 - 6:30pm AEST
Northern Territory: 4:30 - 6:00pm ACST
Western Australia: 3:00pm - 4:30pm AWST

If you're unable to attend at the scheduled time but you would still like to purchase this webinar please register and regardless of attendance at the scheduled time you will be sent a recording of the webinar to view at your leisure. This recording will remain available for three months.


  • Member: $50
  • Non Member: $75

Cancellation and Refund Policy

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement reserves the right to cancel education programs that do not achieve minimum participation, in which case all fees will be refunded.

Registration cancellations will not be accepted unless made in writing to the centre. Cancellations made more than thirty (30) days prior to the event date will be refunded less 25% of the registration fee to cover administration costs.

No registration refunds will be made after this date. Please note: The full invoiced amount will still be payable in the event of non-attendance on the day.

Terms & Conditions

ACGB's program and program content is copyrighted. Its use and dissemination is restricted and unauthorised duplication is prohibited. Viewers agree to use the product under the purchase agreement terms, which restrict number of viewers based on registration type. Individual Registration - Provides one person, the registrant, access to the webcast or DVD for personal viewing. Multi-Viewer Registration - Provides one person, the registrant, access to the webcast for streaming from one computer to a group of people or the DVD for viewing at one location. CE Credits for this program may only be obtained through ACGB. CE instructions will be provided to the registered contact for the organisation (or to the registered individual) prior to the live air date and to attendees at the end of the program.

27/02/2019 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

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