At the end of 2011, I wrote about my Top Overshare Tips For 2012, and number one was "If You're Going To Mommyjack, Don't Let It Be A Deathjack." Fast-forward 18 months later, and I've got myself a folder crammed full of deathjacking submissions. Does no one listen to me?!
It's tough doling out advice and watching the tragedies roll in, folks. I practically keep a box of tissues at the ready for such times, because it is damn depressing to read the ways in which people will make loss about themselves (or their adorable baby). A part of me understands the perhaps heightened awareness parents have regarding life and death, having brought life into the world (and by raising the future generation) while continuing to experience loss in their lives. The circle of life is overwhelming enough for me to watch on nature shows, so I can only imagine what it's like to watch the news (this week in particular) and witness such sadness while simultaneously caring for a child. But that doesn't mean someone else's death should result in a deathjacking on social media.
Deathjacking is one of those sub-categories of mommyjacking that simply shouldn't exist. What's the point of hijacking a friend's status update to say something like, "I have been enjoying my quiet time with no kiddos," when the original status update said "RIP"? A RIP update is written from a place of respect and sadness and should only be met with sympathetic comments -- not, "I'm so sorry, but back to me," comments. And yet, in this crazy mixed-up world, there are so many people who manage to sneak in a blurb about themselves amidst the sadness. Let's take a look at some examples so that any future (or current) deathjackers out there will know what NOT to do during someone else's time of need.
1. Added Details
Oh, Mary. You mean well, and heavens knows I'd be tempted to "Like" that second comment out of sheer amusement, but ultimately you could've left out that last detail. It made for good comedic timing, but it also reeks of "me, me, me." Word vomit is yet another type of vomit most people don't care for.
PS: Speaking of "Sorry for your lost"...
2. Cruel Summer World
I know Claire is saying this happenstance is "funny weird" rather than "funny ha ha," but maybe next time she should figure out a way to express sadness without mentioning a celebration. I do think chain updates are incredibly irritating, too, although Teri makes up for that by calling Claire "Hun" and capitalizing it. I enjoy that. I may even change my name to Hun just so I can force people to call me an affectionate shortening of "Honey" until I die. My epitaph will read "Here lies Hun. She was a real sweetheart."
Heyyy Lauren, this is a nice sentiment and it's very kind of you to extend the baby shower invite to Eileen and Breanne, but um, the event is at your mom's? You do realize you opened with "Sorry your mom died" and essentially closed with "See you bitches at my mom's on Saturday!", right? Not that that was the intention, but it doesn't come across as remorseful so much as subtle excitement. Maybe next time Eileen and Breanne lose a parent, you could not invite them to a weekend barbecue.
4. Grieving On A Perfect Sunday
Is this the way to start a Sunday? By tagging your tragically-dead co-worker so everyone who visits her Facebook page will get an eyeful of a "happy baby picture"? I'm sure to Jennifer that makes for a great Sunday, but other people are still grieving what sounds like a sudden loss. How about separating these thoughts into two independent updates? Sure, the picture might not get as many impressions, but at least Jennifer wouldn't sound like such a self-obsessed ass. Remember, people: Getting attention on Facebook isn't life or death. Save sharing your baby pictures with co-workers for the next get-together -- and I'm not talking about Becky's funeral.