by James Wallace Harris, Monday, April 9, 2018
I’ve been using the internet long enough to have online friends pass away. I’m in one online book club that has had three members die. I’ve had other internet friends just disappear, and I’ve wondered what has happened to them. Sometimes on Facebook family members will post a goodbye. I greatly appreciate that when it happens.
Quite often I don’t know where my internet friends live. And even when I do, the standard of publishing an obituary in the local paper seems to be fading along with print journalism.
There is much anger directed at Facebook in recent weeks. However, Facebook is how many people stay in contact with friends and family. Few reports count all the positive benefits of Facebook. As many as two billion people use the service. In recent years, Facebook is often how I find out internet friends are sick, dying, or have passed away. It’s become the new obituary page.
We all need to leave login credentials to our social media groups in our wills with instructions to contact these sites after our death. And even provide a parting farewell to publish.
Social media is often dismissed as shallow. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. Maybe we should make it better.