Wednesday, April 9, 2008


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.

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.


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.


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.