Ghosts of Facebook


I have read two articles on Cyberpresse about what happens to your digital presence when you die. Social media doesn’t have indications automatically applicable when someone dies so their profile stays online and loved ones still get prompts to not forget birthdays and reconnect and write something on their billboard.

You can ask Facebook to delete the account but it takes months. What about Hootsuite, WordPress, Flickr, etc. ? Noone knows the existence of all these accounts and they don’t know my passwords.

I wonder what will happen if my sisters or my parents die ? If my friends die ? Will I write them anyway and visit their Facebook page ? If C. died, you bet your ass I would still post videos on her page and look at her pictures. I would wish her happy birthday too. Because birthdays are celebrations of one’s life.

I think of my uncle that I didn’t know much and his death threw my out for a loop. I learned of it on Facebook. I learned of one of my aunt’s death on Facebook also. They didn’t have a Facebook account. If they had one would I still visit their page ?

The articles mention how those zombie accounts (my words not theirs) become mausoleums. The page becomes a witness of the departed’s life and people keep writing. It is more tangible than talking to the sky. It feels more real. I guess one would feel like the message was going somewhere. The Facebook page is a receptacle for every moment lived by loved ones.

I found this moving…and disturbing…and comforting.

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