Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cyber-afterlife

What happens to our social networking sites when we die? Well, in many cases, they just stay up, floating around the web, giving us a sort of cyber-afterlife. Take Sean for example, a friend of mine from college. He passed away a couple of years ago, far too young, from cancer. And his MySpace page is still online.

http://www.myspace.com/fryfan

Occasionally, friends will visit it to leave comments, reminiscing about how much they miss him. One person stopped by to tell him she had met a mutual friend she hadn't had the opportunity to know before he passed. Another friend left a comment saying he would have liked the movie "Little Miss Sunshine." It must make friends feel like they still have some sort of relationship with Sean.

I assume we'll only see more of this as social networking sites are with us longer. I can see where some people might find it an eerie trend, but I find it comforting in an odd way.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My son, Danny, suicided 7 months ago. He had set up his myspace page several months before he died. His site has become a memorial page to him. It has given me much comfort. A sort of online journal for Danny's friends and family.

Jessica Knapp said...

Thank you for sharing. I think Sean's page has also been a source of comfort for his friends. When he first passed away, we discussed it and thought it might be awkward, but it really has been a comfort to have, just like you said.

-Jessica

exurgencySpectaculrrr said...

You know, tying this in with your other post about the "memorial" on the pick-up truck, I wonder how frequently people set up MySpace-type pages as a memorial after someone has died -- in other words, creating the page(s) anew to serve this purpose. And if that is not yet prevalent, I wonder if it will become more common?

Shai Hulud said...

I also find it interesting that his profile has 51 friends. Still, even in death, people maintain a kind of friendship with him, they still hold on to an image.