facebook after death

Being “Dead” on Facebook

“People just don’t think anymore. It’s death, it’s not something to be Facebooking about.” – Sara F.

Last week was a hard one. A person I used to hang out with passed away and I wasn’t sure how to process it. Did I have the “right” to be upset even though I haven’t seen him in years? Is that a stupid thing to be thinking about? I was pretty sad and bummed.

Facebook for News

Sixty-three percent of both Facebook and Twitter users said they get news on the social networks, Pew found. That’s an increase from 52 percent of Twitter users and 47 percent of Facebook users who told Pew in 2013 that they use each platform to consume news. – Pew Research Centre

People are turning to social media for their news vs going directly to news websites, reading the newspaper or turning on the television. So of course it was only natural that I heard about my friend’s death on Facebook. All of a sudden these “RIP” posts started showing up in my feed, posts full of fond memories and photos of his life. All the “usual” things that people do when someone passes were being shared.

What did I do? I did the same as everybody else, I shared a photo of me and him and wrote a fond memory. People that knew him and not me “liked” the post. I drove home from my boyfriend’s house a couple days later and had to pull over, I broke down and cried. But still, deep inside, I knew something was a bit “off” with the news of his death. Nobody had posted any funeral news, their family didn’t change their profile photos reflect the his passing… These are things I witness happen on Facebook when someone dies so I was expecting the typical steps to be taken.

When the Deceased Rise Again on Facebook

A week later this status update by my friend who “died” appeared:

fake facebook death

WHAT?! My first reaction was “ARE YOU BEING FKING SERIOUS?!” And I was mad, but relieved he was fine… I still wanted to rip my hair out.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.40.11 PM

Let me just say, I’m not going to dictate how people mourn, but I guess it’s a testament to our society that social media is the first thing we use to announce the death of someone close to us… I couldn’t help but wonder: Is that how they announced the death of their child? On Facebook? Or did they call relatives and close friends to tell them first? Why didn’t they bother to correct the situation afterwards? (You’re going to say: “Beverley, they didn’t correct the situation because they were too busy with their son.”, okay, fair enough.)

ICYMI: You’re Going to Die (For Real)

rest in peace

Don’t forget, you’re going to die. And if you’re on Facebook, your account is going to be there… Forever! Err, unless the company goes belly up, in that case, who cares. But, so, you’re going to die. What happens to your Facebook account when you are dead?

I wanted to remind you to update your Facebook Legacy settings. I set my contact person as my BFF, but chose not to send her the notification email as I thought that’d be weird. And you know how Facebook says you can choose to have your account permanently deleted (should you be permanently deleted IRL), I wonder if they will actually remove your data from their servers? Probably not.

Anyways, I’m done talking. Have you ever experienced a super weird Facebook thing?! Share your story with me in the comments, I want to hear about it!

Don't forget, you're going to die. And if you're on Facebook, your account is going to be there... Forever! Err, unless the company goes belly up, in that case, who cares.


3 thoughts on “Being “Dead” on Facebook”

  1. I have at least 5 friends that are dead and still on Facebook (and yes, I know that’s a weird sentence that makes no logical sense). I think it’s nice to see their birthday reminders and posts from people who remember them occasionally. It would be sad to delete your account when you die, just like you wouldn’t want to delete your memory from your loved ones’ brains.

    Good topic for discussion.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jon. I agree, I like to see the birthday reminders, and deleting their Facebook would definitely be sad, especially because nowadays Facebook is a part of people’s lives.

  2. I had no idea this is a thing. Memorialized profiles, legacy contacts… whoa. The Facebook language threw me off too, like, select a “friend” to be your legacy contact… I’m like, it’s not going to be a friend, it’ll be a family member. Then I realized they meant “Facebook friend.”

    As for people announcing deaths on social media before telling people in real life.. yikes.

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