Social Media, Lifecasting, and Life After Death
This post is a tribute to a friend who passed away just a few weeks ago and in no way meant to be disrespectful to the life of such a bright spirited individual. The details of her passing don’t need to be mentioned but I found out within hours of her passing from comments posted on her Facebook wall, additional comments and direct messages from friends were sent using Facebook. I was shocked. An event to powerful and influential was being broadcast.
Wow, what an impact this made. Social networking has become more than just a way to get back in touch and stay in touch with friends, colleagues and family within seconds. Until now, it seemed it was just a better way to communicate, play, and interact quickly. And now, without thought before, an additional purpose was added. A living memorial.
As a friend of mine stated, the passing of our friend and the response and news of her death is a “stunning proof point as to how integrated social networking has become in our society.” Her page is now a living memorial. A way for us to tell her how much fun she was and how much she will be missed. A small note to her. What will happen to her profile? Will it continue to live on? Will friends and family visit this page and send notes to her throughout the years when some days are more painful than others? The answer is clear, yes. In the past few weeks people are still posting messages on her wall saying “I missed you today” and continue to tag her in images.
Social networking is nearly and literally a minute by minute update of our lives and in reality when we truly stop to understand what matters – we realize that all the little things and everything in between do not really matter. It is the moment that we are in now and the people we choose to share it with that matters most. Blogging, Social Networking, email, voicemail are all platforms for communication. Creating play by plays of what we are doing at that moment and lifecasting is no less prevalent in death than in life.
A friend of mine confessed that she emailed her dad the night he died – afterwards – even though she knew it would sit in his Inbox forever she said it was strangely comforting to do something so… normal.
Technology, although it may seem cold and sterile, really has given us a platform to reach out and to connect – even if it may be only to say goodbye and feel that sense of closure.