There was another murder at another university near me in South Florida. The deceased student was a football player known to have been a star athlete and a good student. After receiving a fatal stab wound on campus and passing away, many friends and strangers began leaving well wishes and farewell messages on his Facebook profile. I thought to myself wow; this is just another way social media is impacting our lives. I wonder just how many Facebook profiles exist out there of people who have passed away and are now serving as memorials.
Is it weird that you could go to a Facebook profile and see the face and even the last messages of a person that has passed on? To be honest it is kind of odd to me, but I guess some feel it is a good way to keep the memory of the person alive and give people a chance to say goodbye. Even life after death is getting more technical. Although every civilization has its own funerary customs, most of ours in the Western World have started to “evolve”. We might look at other civilizations and think their customs are foreign; they might not make sense of ours.
Facebook pages hold a lot of information and memories from a person’s life. With daily status updates and posting mobile uploads, the people who live in the Facebook community with you begin to start putting a story together about who you are. Facebook is one of the most personal social media sites out there. Friends that have access to your profile can say goodbye.
After a relative or close family member contacts Facebook through a feedback form, you can ask to have a page memorialized. After it is confirmed that the person who contacted Facebook is legit and the person has indeed passed, all sensitive information is taken out and then the account becomes locked making sure no one could hack into the profile and disrespect the deceased’s “social remains”.
It’s kind of strange to see how the outpouring of support to a family and the way people mourn is changing due to technology and our social networking habits. Perhaps in the future, these details might be amended to your will. I was not able to find statistical information on just how many memorial profiles exist as well as the rate they are being created. If someone could find a credible source, please feel free to post a comment.