Influence of Facebook Memories on the Grief Experience

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Nicole Taylor, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Fernand Lubuguin, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Emily Markley, Psy.D.


Grief, Social media, Facebook

Publication Statement

Copyright held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


This study employed an integrative qualitative methodology to explore Facebook users’ experiences with the Memories application in the context of a significant loss. Forty-One participants between the ages of 22 and 65 years old completed an online survey of open-ended questions focused on their experience with Facebook and grief. A link to the survey was initially disseminated via email to individuals known by the research team and a listserv of students and faculty at the primary investigator’s university. Recipients of the survey link were encouraged to share it with others via Facebook and email, many of whom did so within their own social networks. The theory that was developed from this data posits that individuals’ experiences with Facebook Memories and loss are complex, varied and dynamic. Facebook Memories can provide both connection to a deceased loved one and social support from others, in addition to potentially retraumatizing unexpected reminders of grief. One’s relationship with Facebook Memories of the deceased may vary depending on time since the loss, the Memory itself, the relationship to the deceased, their personal experience with loss, and/or any combination of these and many other factors. This study serves as a preliminary exploration of the role this specific social media platform and feature may play in grieving a significant loss, a topic that has been largely absent in the literature on social media and grief.


41 pgs

Paper Method

Empirical - Qualitative

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