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Social Networking for the Dead

Technology has changed our lives in many ways.  It has even changed the way we share the news of a death and what the dead are able to leave behind.  


In years past, one of the ways we learned about the death of a friend or acquaintance was by reading the obituary column in the newspaper.  That's not so different from reading an online obituary.  Most newspapers are online these days anyway.


The phone call was another way that we got information about a death, especially of a relative or close friend.  Most people will still call the family but in many cases these events are communicated via a social network like Facebook.


Social networks have made it possible to reach the extended family and friends with a single post, instead of making dozens of phone calls.  But Facebook and other social networks have created a unique situation that simply did not exist in the past.


When people die, their Facebook pages, blog posts and other online communications are usually kept in an active state.  The family can decide to take the pages down if they know the passwords of the deceased.  In other cases, the pages stay “up.” Family and friends can look at the last post or picture.  They can scroll through the blog posts and laugh or cry.  This legacy is comforting to some people.


A relatively new idea is to create a memorial while you are alive.  The website, www.deadsocial.org is an example.  You can record a video that will only be shared at the time of your death.  You can also create videos to be sent on certain dates, like the birthday of a loved one.


Some people like the idea.  Others find it morbid.  It probably depends on how you look at death and whether or not you think your friends or loved ones would want to hear from you after you die.


The idea of leaving a legacy is not a new one.  People have been writing their memoirs for thousands of years.  Buildings are built in memory of someone who has passed away.  Memorials can be found everywhere.  It may be the family, not the deceased, who creates the memorial but it is still a reminder of the deceased.  Dead Social is really just a new way of communicating, not a new concept.


People have created videos to be viewed after their deaths in the past.  So, even that is not something completely new.  What's new is that Dead Social makes it possible and easier for more people to leave a video legacy behind.

Image: 123RF

Technology has changed our lives in many ways.  It has even changed the way we share the news of a death and what the dead are able to leave behind.  


ARTICLES | BY K.K.BROWN

JAN 8, 2017

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ONLINE MEMORIALS
LEGACY.COM

Legacy.com is a website founded in 1998, the world's largest commercial provider of online memorials. The Web site hosts obituaries and memorials for more than 70 percent of all U.S. deaths. Legacy.com hosts obituaries for more than three-quarters of the 100 largest newspapers in the U.S., by circulation. The site attracts more than 30 million unique visitors per month and is among the top 40 trafficked Web sites in the world.

Legacy.com attaches a publicly accessible guest book to most of the obituaries it hosts,[6] which enables anyone with an Internet connection to pay tribute to someone whose obituary appears in one of Legacy.com's affiliate newspapers. Legacy.com now reviews more than 1,000,000 guest book entries each month. About 75 percent of all guest books receive entries. As of 2016, the company was approaching 100 million guest book entries on its site.

The site has been criticized for "expiring" older guest books and requiring payment of a fee to restore access, seen as exploiting the grief of survivors.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legacy.com