On Death And Facebook (But Sadly, Not The Death Of Facebook)


Death in the age of Facebook. I think everyone’s writing about it — probably because nearly everyone’s experienced it by now. I have, at least three times. People who aren’t so picky about whom they add as friends have likely seen it far more often.

It’s not Facebook’s memorial policies that make it weird. Those are fine. Actually, I like what they’ve done for the departed on occasion — even Holocaust victims.

No, my problem is, I don’t know what we’re supposed to do once our friends are gone. I understand the need to talk to the dead — I’ve done it before and will again — but there’s a difference between saying something directly to the deceased and saying something on a Facebook wall that will then be liked or commented on by people you may or may not love/hate/know.

It’s just so public. I know that in certain parts of the world, certain cultures, grieving is a group activity. But not for me….

You know, maybe I’m just being selfish. Maybe I don’t want to acknowledge that others had a relationship with the departed that was as special as mine.

But more likely than that, I just don’t want to hear it. I want my grief and that of others to be private, not shared. Because when it’s public, it can border on showy, and that can seem disingenuous, and that makes me angry, and I don’t want to be angry when I’m supposed to be sad.

Ugh, I should probably just get over it right? That or go the old-skool route and build myself a goddamn pyramid. You know, like we all did before Facebook?

4 thoughts on “On Death And Facebook (But Sadly, Not The Death Of Facebook)

  1. Drew

    Last night was my first experience with this. It’s weird. Doubly so with stumbling over a FB post that led me to the wall and the realization that someone I knew not very well but liked the hell out of is gone. (And who was probably my biggest secret crush then entire time I lived in NOLA…) It’s… strange.

    Part of me wants to de-friend the page. Part of me is very conflicted about doing so.

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