(photo snatched from mantra-pr.com, not sure of the original)
This entry is not in debate of the downfall of the social-networking site itself, but the worldly departure of the actual people who take part in it.
Two one-time acquiantances of mine have passed away in the last couple of weeks.
There were online obituaries for both, as well as condolence pages, where friends and loved ones could share their rememberances. But that’s not all! In both cases, a loving friend decided to start a facebook group in their honor. Now I think that’s great, but I didn’t rush to join the party. (One got two groups! Wouldn’t you rather have one big group?)
Was I a close enough friend I asked myself? I have honored them in my own private way. Recalling our fun times together years ago. I felt that was sufficient.
The statements on the ‘walls’ tend to be of the same nature of course, although there was a somewhat humorous quote from one friend “Hey this is so cool!” in regard to the idea of the group itself. But since, these responses take place on an open forum there’s not much dialog. I found myself comparing numbers between friends, as if some sort of post-mortem popularity contest were taking place.
Next question is, do I really honor them by putting them in my proud list of groups: I’ve never had sex with a goat, R Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet is the Greatest Achievement in the History of Mankind, I love Konglish, etc. (I’m not really a member of “I’ve never had sex with a goat”, I just read the failblog. Alas the fact that such groups exist, and that many people join them, serves my point. )
What if some of my many other friends start dying in quick succession and my group list gets too long for my taste? Do I start weeding out the lesser known friends whose groups I was tentative to join in the first place? (As one tends to do with living friends?) Wouldn’t it be rude to leave a group entitled “In loving memory of Steve Dodge”, or you know, whoever?
I actually recall seeing something similar to this in my newsfeed recently. “So and so left the group ‘Columbine: Always Remember’.” I guess ‘always’ just got itself a looser definition.
Assuming that everyone I know is going to die at one point or another, including myself (Nick you’re so morbid!) who’s going to be around to manage all of these groups? Will the group die with its founding member?
Is the group just a replacement for the profile? You can’t add new friends when you’re dead. I’m guessing there’s a death clause where a family member can have your profile removed. Or maybe they haven’t thought that far ahead yet.
Do all facebook profiles go to heaven?
Now I realize that’s a lot of questions and you can feel free to answer them in any order you desire. This all presupposes the fact that Facebook (or social networking sites in general) will be around until all us twenty/thirty somethings kick the bucket, which I’m not taking bets on. I guess this is another wing of etiquette not yet fully developed or thought through by the Internet Gods. You know, Al Gore and his underlings.
Do you hope someone creates a Facebook memorial group for you when you pass? (Not that you have a choice.)
As for me, I wouldn’t mind it, so long as I have in my will instructions for someone to log into my account as me once I’m gone and spam the shit out of it, advertising funeral ‘event’ tee-shirts and my greatest hits torrent.