When a Facebook Friend Dies

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About a year ago my eyes transfixed on a birthday reminder post on Facebook. I felt queasy. Why? Because I saw the face of a woman who had tragically passed six months earlier. She was a former colleague and a young, divorced mom with two sons. As I stared at her profile picture remembering, I heard her voice, “Hey y’all, now don’t forget about me!” Scrolling her Facebook page, I saw it had become a memorial with many heart-touching updates from her sons, sharing how they had “won the game!”, were doing well in school and missed her everyday. I left a post sharing a story of when we worked together, wanting her sons and friends to know I also thought of her often.

And it happened again. This time it was a guy I had gone to college with and last saw during a New Years celebration at least eight years ago. To this day, I still don’t know how he died. And it wasn’t a birthday reminder, it was one of those, “So and so likes this…” Facebook newsfeed posts.  His page too served as a memorial.

I’ve often wondered what should happen to social media accounts of the deceased? Seems there’s a small startup company that has thought about it a lot more. Introducing DeadSocial.

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DeadSocial almost acts as a living will by recording Facebook and LinkedIn messages and Tweets to be sent postmortem. Gut reaction? Creepy. I think receiving letters from the deceased is acceptable and even heart-breaking. But electronic messages seem a bit cold and impersonal.

How does it work? Will my supernatural self be predicting the Oscar winners? Will I be sending an “Earth sucks, wait until you get to heaven!” post. Or maybe it’s a “Working at your company shortened my life by 5 years! Carry on worker bees!!” LinkedIn post, proving that people are only honest when they’re dead.

Since receiving a phone call from a real live human these days is cause for alarm, perhaps communicating from the grave is the new normal? Well, I signed up for the beta test proving that there truly is a market for everything. I just hope it doesn’t turn out like some creepy horror movie like The Ring, where you sign up for DeadSocial and then bam —  you DIE!

DeadSocial, your innovative creepiness has made my DigiDay!

Still living,

Rainbow

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