Death by Facebook and Death in Facebook

Death by Facebook isn’t something new as there was a report last year about a call center manager who met her demise indirectly through the site. She met the guy who ended up killing her through the social network site. But how about death in Facebook? These are people who have profiles in the popular site and have died with their profiles still active.

It’s not Halloween and I’m not about to scare you with this post. The thought came to mind a long time ago. It’s just sad that some of the people we are acquainted with have come and gone before us. And when we go online seeing their profiles, I’m sure that the sadness and maybe even pain of their death becomes real all over again.

Obviously, avoiding their profile to run away from the pain of their lost is what you should do. But there are days when you go back to their profile, whether it be Facebook or some other site, and check their posts, messages, photos, and everything they have posted online, reminiscing whatever memories they have shared with us through the web. This thought reminds me of the Halloween short story I posted last year - Post Halloween Short Story from Free Minds Free Lines.

In relation to the post, I wonder if there ever will be a program which will enable the departed ones to exist somewhere in cyberspace. Creepy thought but at the same time exciting. So if there ever will be software like it and if I were to have a cyber persona too, mine will be a comprehensive model as I am practically online 24/7. What about you? Will you care to share yourself to the web world even after you’re gone?

Before there was even Facebook, I personally know of a fellow technical support agent who passed away years ago. Although Friendster is no more and almost all user data were deleted along with the site update (from a plain social network site to a gaming portal), his account was still live even after he died years ago. His then Friendster wall was filled with messages from everyone he was once acquainted with. A lot missed him and showered his wall with thoughts of endearment.

Fast forward to Facebook, prominent people have come and gone and death in Facebook were plenty. You can check out their walls and it’ll be filled with all messages from everyone concerned and even from strangers. As for regular folks, I know of a few whose friends, family, relatives, and more posted messages directly to the person’s wall. I’m sure that a lot of you can relate to this as well whether it is in relation to someone dear to you or at least someone you know.

Yet what to do about their accounts? On one side of the coin, you’d think that since they’re gone, it will be better to shut down their accounts. But on second thought, those profiles will forever preserve their memories or at least while the site’s database is not wiped out the way Friendster was. 

So if you are to be asked? Will you want the memory of a loved one remain on Facebook or would you rather have it removed? God forbid, but what if it’s you? Will you ask someone beforehand to delete your profile or will you keep it there? As for me, I’d rather let the profile remain for as long as the site exists and does not make database updates.

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Going back to dangers associated with Facebook, the only thing you can do is to be discreet when meeting up with people you have only met online. During EBs, bring along a chaperon or friend and meet up in public places and in broad daylight if possible. And before a relationship blossoms, better get to know the person beyond the confines of the social network site first. A little background check won’t hurt.

The obvious enemies are not the only ones you should beware of. There are also secret foes lurking all over Facebook and other places online. The so-called stalkers as described in this old post - Modern Day Stalker Syndrome. A little privacy won’t hurt either. Make a restriction when it comes to the amount of data which can be viewable by the public or even friends. Pertinent information must not be made public and only general info should be displayed.

Death by Facebook can be prevented if everyone is careful enough when dealing with people online. Death in Facebook on the other hand is sad enough for sure. But at least their profiles can serve as a memory which the dear departed can leave us with. 
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