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Aussie Life Challenges Family

Social Media Beyond the Grave

I don’t know about you but Facebook has become my personal assistant and go to for remembering birthdays of friends and family. It has even replaced the sending of birthday cards but also opened up the number of birthday wishes received. Of course it hasn’t replaced cards to my close loved ones but it has made me lazy – have you seen the price of cards these days? I remember my son telling me once as he handed over my birthday present, minus a card, that buying cards is for rich people!

Last week I received a Facebook birthday reminder and for a split second the warm and fuzzy birthday feeling washed over me and then a moment later was replaced with intense sadness that it was a terrible mistake – you see, this person passed away over two years ago. How can I possibly help her celebrate when she is no longer with us? She would have been the same age as me but was taken from us too soon. Why haven’t her family closed her account? I could ‘unfriend’ her so I don’t receive notifications any longer but that seems a weird thing to do – what if she’s watching me and she knows I’ve ‘cut the cord’ – maybe that’s why her account is still active. Perhaps her family can’t bring themselves to close her account or prefer to keep it open for friends to visit.

Have our social media platforms become a shrine of remembrance for when we’ve gone? Are we living in hope that we may one day receive ‘a sign’ from our loved ones on the other side?

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By the time I’m in the old folk’s home, hopefully some tech giant will have invented an app for spirits and the afterlife so we can keep in touch beyond the grave, although I’m not sure if this would be a good idea – do we really want to know – actually no, I don’t.

If my family are reading this, please make sure you delete my online presence when I’m gone – remind me to give you the password!

What are your thoughts on keeping our loved ones social media accounts active after they’ve left us?

By Waking the Wombat

Life - part two in Australia. Having spent the first 39 years of my life in England with two gorgeous children who don't need me so much, a workaholic husband and a head full of stuff waiting to be unleashed, Waking the Wombat is my place to share life's experiences with you.

9 replies on “Social Media Beyond the Grave”

Lucy that made me think , i can understand people wanting to keep their loved ones memories and presence in media. I think perhaps when they are ready to close it, the right time will come. I can feel your sadness for your friend that sadly passed 2 years before, i would feel the same . Very thought provoking, as ever Lucy.

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Very thought provoking Lucy. 🤔 On the note about cards, that’s why I make my own for special people and occasions, not only do I love doing them, but it keeps the old brain active and saves money 😉😊

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It’s difficult enough to delete your own account permanently. Trying to delete the account of someone no longer with us, for what ever reason must be almost impossible. It’s hard enough to convince social media account keepers that you are actually the individual you say you are. On the other hand to preserve my on line privacy, I once used the name Wrong Person. That lasted wonderfully for quite a few years then suddenly my social media accounts became inaccessible. Why?. Facebook discovered my real identity and insisted I use my real name. Goodbye Wrong Person, welcome me.What a bummer. Imagine the fuss trying to contact Saint Lucy some time in the next century. Not a task for the faint hearted.

By the way, I reckon opening an envelope from a long lost friend or any friend or relative is a thrill. I wouldn’t swap it for anything.

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Haha! Wrong Person, I love it!! I’ve never tried to shut down an account before but thought it would be a simple process – wow! And there certainly isn’t anything to replace a personal greeting card that’s for sure.

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I agree with Creakingbones 🙂 Deleting an account can be a nightmare. I deleted my Facebook account years ago, and thought that was the end of that. Until I wanted to set up another one for keeping in touch while Dean and I travelled around Australia. After going through the motions, Facebook said: “We have that account, would you like to reactivate it?” (Or something like that.) I thought my account had been deleted three years earlier. Perhaps once their servers get so clogged they are impossible to work with or unable to house more data, they’ll start deleting accounts for real.

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