social media for the socially awkward
So the sad part is that I have had several friends pass away in recent years. And by recent, I mean since the dawn of Facebook.
I can only assume that everyone deals with grief in their own way. And that before Facebook there were various ways to keep the memories of the dearly departed with you. Maybe photos, a journal, or spray-painting their name on a wall. You know, the usual.
But now we have Facebook. A virtual world in and of itself. And things never (and I do mean never) seem to go away. Like that post from your mother with the embarrassing photo from your adolescence. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
So the Facebook walls of my recently passed friends have become living memorials that seem to go on days, weeks, and years after the person has left us. Friends and family post memories, old photos, and birthday wishes whenever the deceased has crossed their mind. Their former Facebook walls have become ever-evolving tributes.
I’ll just assume this is a healthy and natural part of the grieving process.
What I was curious about was the bigger picture. How many people die every year? How many of them had Facebook profiles? How much “cyberspace” is taken up by dead people? Maybe this is a bit weird to be pondering, but I should also confess that I started reading Zone One this week, a book about the zombie apocalypse, and my head is a bit warped at the moment.
Here is Facebook’s official policy:
It is our policy to memorialize all deceased users’ accounts on the site. When an account is memorialized, only confirmed friends can see the profile (timeline) or locate it in Search. The profile (timeline) will also no longer appear in the Suggestions section of the Home page. Friends and family can leave posts in remembrance.
In order to protect the privacy of the deceased user, we cannot provide login information for the account to anyone. However, once an account has been memorialized, it is completely secure and cannot be accessed or altered by anyone.
I would like to add that it was not particularly easy to find this information, but I’m very persistent.
On the same vein, bur slightly more peppy, here is a video about what happens online after you die:
And because I don’t want to leave anyone thoroughly depressed, here is a picture of a cute fuzzy kitten. Studies show it is virtually impossible to be sad or miserable when looking at photos of adorable critters. Seriously. I wouldn’t make something like that up. Also, you do not want to know how much time I just spent looking at cat pictures. You really should never type “cute kitten” into Google. Unless you are seriously in need of an antidepressant or have a lot of time to waste while at work.