Taylor's FSLM Journals
Taylor's FSLM Journals
Opinions of Young Adults on Digital Mourning and Public Expressions of Grief on Social Media

@ Asia-Pacific Journal of Futures in Education and Society

Online ISSN: 2811-3586

Tasia Khairunnisa Azzahra* and Anasuya Jegathevi Jegathesan


Mourning on social media platforms has become increasingly popular. Most studies in the past have focused on individuals who grieve or post grief-related posts instead of the average social media user who interacts with such content. In contrast, this study focuses on the latter. Specifically, this study aims to identify how Malaysians view digital mourning and public expressions of grief on social media. The study is qualitative in nature, adopting the reflexive thematic analysis method. The researcher posted the link to an online questionnaire on social media platforms which was shared 137 times. As a result, 50 participants completed the questionnaire, of which seven participated further in semi-structured interviews. The participants were Malaysian social media users aged between 18 and 25 years old. The themes identified are: a form of expression, doing it for reasons other than grief, the mental processes involved, closeness of relationships, and a mixture of positive and negative emotions. An important finding of the study is how relationship closeness plays a huge factor in determining the intensity of emotions, the pressure to engage, and the perception of authenticity. The findings of the study are discussed in the context of the Malaysian culture and the social exchange theory.

Keywords: Grief, digital mourning, social media, online grieving