Facebook and obituaries

More often than not, I am hearing about the death of friends or family through Facebook. I suppose this isn't surprising; after all, I hear about babies born on the same site. Local newspapers are too slow or too local or publish too infrequently to be a source for family news. The Facebook wall makes as good a place as any to share condolences and to make plans for funerals.

In the news:

Huffington Post, Death on Facebook Now Common

Memorialization Request, Facebook

ABC News on MyDeathSpace, 2006

Huffington Post, On MyDeathSpace, Morbidly Curious Unpack Deaths, Profiles Of People They Never Knew, 2012

2 thoughts on “Facebook and obituaries

  1. Linda Diane Feldt

    Not only is this the primary way I’m hearing about deaths, but then my “friends” who have passed remain on facebook. I have at least ten dead friends and family who remain present on facebook. It can be a little jarring, a little comforting, and occasionally nice to be reminded of them.
    I have also gotten messages from dead people, which is just weird.
    I would like facebook to create a new status for those who have passed, and I really don’t care what it would be called. But then that “group” becoming larger and larger would also be a bit disconcerting.
    It kind of works, and kind of doesn’t, to use social media for life and death issues. It will certainly be interesting to see how it evolves.

    Reply
  2. glee

    We’re now in an “in between” state, I think, wrt social media sites (FB, LinkedIn, etc.) where those who are empowered to report that someone has died are not necessarily on those sites and so don’t know — or prefer not to — report the change in status. I tried to report a change for a friend whose family is definitely not tech-ni-fied and, of course as is appropriate, I can’t do that. I don’t have legal status.
    I think the ones that bother me the most are “friend-suggestions” for people whom I know are dead. And, humans being human, it’s a good idea for the sites to accept this change in status from someone who is empowered. Otherwise, there’d be a rash of reportings for folks who thought it was funny to report the death of someone — exaggerated or not.
    Dilemma, indeed.

    Reply

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