We are so excited to bring you this long awaited update to Widowed Village! DIRECT MESSAGING HAS ARRIVED!
The purpose of Widowed Village is to help you connect with your widowed peers in ways that will serve you throughout your grief. One of the ways we can make this easier for you is to provide you the opportunity to send a direct message to another Villager with whom you connect based on the content of their posts.
Your safety and privacy remains at the top of our concerns, so there’s a few things we want you to know about the way direct messaging was built into Widowed Village. First, you are always in control of the messages you receive. You have the option to turn on or off the ability to receive direct messages via your profile. And when you turn on direct messaging, it doesn’t mean you’ll be inundated with messages – the power still lies with you to approve or decline every single message that is sent to you.
After turning on direct messaging on your profile, when someone sends you a message you’ll get an email from Widowed Village with information on who sent you the message, the subject line of the message, and a link to your Widowed Village inbox where you can approve or decline the message.
You’ll also notice a new icon that has appeared next to your name when you post in a discussion forum or comment thread – you’ll either have an envelope icon, or a circle with a line through it (like a cancel symbol). This indicates your chosen preference for receiving messages (or not). You can direct message anyone who has the envelope icon straight from the discussion forums making it easier than ever to make personal connections inside Widowed Village.
One note – The functionality of your Widowed Village inbox is pretty basic, and that’s by design – Widowed Village is a space to make the initial connection, but we fully encourage and expect that your friendships and connections will grow beyond the functionality of the program. With consent from the person with whom you’re speaking, we invite you to exchange contact information and email addresses so you can converse off the platform more conveniently (i.e., where you don’t have to always approve an incoming message!).
If you’re ready to turn on direct messaging, here’s how to do it:
- Log in to Widowed Village
- Hover over your profile in the upper right hand corner of the page
- Select “Update Profile”
- Scroll down to the bottom of the form where your preferences are listed and select “Yes” under “Allow members to send you messages”
- Access your inbox to view incoming messages and sent messages under “Inbox” in your profile
Note that in the beginning many people won’t have turned on the direct messaging capability, but we expect this to change as time goes on and we thank you, as always, for your patience!
(Don’t forget – the suggestion box is always available to you to submit your suggestions if you have any feedback for us!)