The Cemeter-e – An Online Obituary

It looks as if technology is encroaching and enveloping every aspect of our life, but what about death?

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are more prevalent than the use of telephone. In fact One in 13 of the world’s population uses Facebook. Facebook in particular serves a function, a purpose for many people in their daily lives. 57% of people talk more online than they do in real life. Even Father Christmas is having his toes stepped on.

Stats show that 48% of 18 to 34 year-olds checks Facebook first thing in the morning, with about 28% checking before they even get out of bed on their smartphones. 48% of young Americans said they got there news from Facebook.

Over the New Year weekend a record breaking 750 million photos were uploaded.  But the statistic that interests me the most is that in 20 minutes, 1,484,000 event invites are sent out and 10,208,000 comments are left.

But while Facebook serves a purpose right now, what of it once we cease to exists. The one thing in life that is surer than Mark Zukerberg’s bank account is death. Online social networking sites, in particular Facebook will and some may argue already work as an online obituary.

Many news outlets now tend to rely on Facebook comments to pay tribute to a deceased person than actual first hand comments from friends and relatives. Even TV news is now relying on comments left on Facebook pages than interviewing family and friends first hand.

The comments function is already being used as a way of paying respect. But could the event invites section also serve a purpose after life, maybe to invite people to the funeral or a wake? Obviously someone would have to do the invite notification on the deceased’s behalf, then again who knows with new innovations being developed every day.

I’m interested as to whether or not an account is kept even after someone has died, well Facebook are a step ahead. The sites head of security Max Kelly said: “When someone leaves us, they don’t leave our memories or our social network.

To reflect that reality, we created the idea of ‘memorialised’ profiles as a place where people can save and share their memories of those who’ve passed.”

This means an ever present, detailed obituary in cyberspace and with the infinite space provided by the net, it may be that past people are judged by their pages and cyber identities as opposed to what they were like, did, accomplished in the physical world.

I guess there is a crossover in the sense that you communicate with certain people on both a cyber-platform and in person, therefore that may have a bearing. But effectively someone could create, not a false but an alternative secondary personality to be remembered by, online.

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