Digital Death & Memorials: What We Found

With the Internet booming and everyone using social media in place of the phone or in-person communications, we were interested in learning how people communicate about death. What kind of transformation in memorializing loved ones might have changed since the nuance of technology? What about communicating the news of their death?

We conducted a survey of 100 people from all over the US between the ages of 18-60 to see how they would communicate about death and the ways in which they’d want to be memorialized after they die.

Here’s what they told us:


How do you communicate the news of a loved one’s death?

27% of people said they would share the news of a loved one’s death via Facebook

42% said that they would share the news of a loved one’s death via email

25% said they would share the news of a loved one’s death via text


11% of people have attended a funeral that was videotaped

5% have watched a loved one’s funeral broadcasted over the Internet


62% will choose cremation

38% will choose burial


How would you memorialize a loved one at the funeral?

40% said with a video tribute

24% said with an online memory guest book

76% said with a photo collage


After you die, what type of obituary would you prefer that your friends and/or family use?

55% said traditional newspaper obituary

10% said with a memorial Facebook page

10% said a funeral home website obituary

23% said all of the above


What aspect of you funeral would you prefer that your friends/family spend the most money on?

11% said very nice burial plot and gravestone

18% said large memorial party

8% said a unique send off like blasting your ashes off in a cannon, making them into fireworks or creating a custom urn

62% said nothing; I don’t want my funeral to be extravagant or expensive


While some traditional practices concerning death and memorials remain the same, it seems as though most “death communications” are moving to the digital world.

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