Day: 2013.05.02

A Brief Note to Facebook: She’s Dead

“We are born, we die; and the waves roll on. We are born to die, and the waves roll on.”


Ghosts and PostsFile under First World Problems.

In the first place, it is weird enough to learn that a friend you forgot to call back two months ago has since died, but only find out because people are talking about it on Facebook. That is what it is, though; nothin’ to be done, there—we were the “other” social circle that existed outside the family, and would have been the last to know, anyway. Nobody would have called us.

But then there is this idea that I have only heard about before; I guess circumstances preclude one from the experience before a certain point in their digital life. But the Facebook messages from the dead are a little strange.

That is, it might seem cruel to make the point to Eddie, as such, but no, Ali-Cat should not have children … because she’s dead. But news travels oddly in the n’ether; maybe Eddie is one like us, who only finds out too late, through Facebook.

He’s on her Friend list.

But, to the other, I am as certain as I can be that my friend is not pitching my daily pic. (“Today’s photo: Feeling a bit disappointed today?”)

There really isn’t any rant to be had here about automation in the twenty-first century; these things happen. The 21 Questions ad server is probably the absolute last to know who died last week.

But there is also a reminder that our names and faces, our very identities in the hearts and minds of friends, family, and community, are nothing more than commodities. And the beautiful world my friend wished for and believed in will never come about as long as that is true.

Life goes on … for the living.