When someone you love passes away, writing an obituary is an important step to communicate the news to those outside of your closest relationships and publicly honor your loved one’s memory. While deciding how to capture their life in a few paragraphs is the hardest part, you will also have to decide where you want the obituary to appear.
Traditionally, people have turned to newspapers when announcing a death in the family. However, in today’s digital age, publishing obituaries and death notices online has become an increasingly popular trend.
While some may choose to share the news of their loved one’s passing by publishing an obituary both online and in newspapers (many news outlets automatically do both), others may prefer to utilize just one medium. If you are not sure if an online obituary is the right option for you and your family, here are some thoughts to consider.
Advantages of Publishing Online Obituaries
1. People can share them – The sharing possibilities for online obituaries are much more plentiful than those solely printed in newspapers. Family members and friends of the deceased are able to share online obituaries through email, websites and even social media.
2. They are more interactive – When online obituaries are posted, people are able to comment and share their condolences with the person’s family. Many also choose to post the obituaries on their own personal social media platforms where they can continue to share fond memories of the deceased with friends and family.
3. You have more control – There is limited creative control with printed obituaries, as they are constrained by the newspaper’s set layout. Many sites that host online obituaries give users the ability to customize obituaries using a variety of colors, backgrounds, themes and fonts to showcase their lost loved one’s unique personality. In addition to creative control, people who choose to publish obituaries online also have the ability to set their own deadline for submission and control the publishing date.
4. Online obituaries are less expensive – The cost of a printed obituary will vary based on where you live (or at least where you will have the obituary printed) and the publication in which it will be published. However, most newspapers charge per line and those rates are typically similar to a classified ad.
Disadvantages of Publishing Online Obituaries
5. You may receive unwanted public commentary – Unfortunately, posting anything on the Internet can leave you vulnerable to negative feedback— sometimes even by complete strangers. While it’s not likely that someone would leave a negative comment when you share an obituary, you still run the risk of receiving unwanted comments when posting anything online.
6. Older audiences may not see it — Though a printed obituary may not reach as many people as one shared online, it may reach more of the right people. If the deceased person is older, many of their friends may not be as technologically savvy, therefore relying on the newspaper for a death notice or obituary. When determining whether to publish an obituary online or in print, be sure to keep the audience in mind.
7. There may not be a historical record – When you publish an obituary only online you run the risk of the hosting company going out of business and the obituary being lost forever. However, printed newspapers become a part of a historical archive, often housed in public libraries where generations to come are able to access them.
If you need assistance creating a memorable and personal obituary for your lost loved one, call Bevis Funeral Home at 850-385-2193 to speak with one of our expert funeral directors for guidance.