Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Social Media and Death

From Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl: Social Media and Death. Excellent discussion in the comments.

I think the internet in general (including Facebook) has affected the way I react to news, yes. I know more about the personal triumphs (and tragedies) of people I know or once knew. I've been active online for over half my life now and I've 'met' a lot of people over the years, some of whom have passed or knew someone who passed. 'News' has become more real now, as I found last week when my brother's friend's grandfather disappeared, his body found days later in the woods. The family used Facebook to spread the word and keep people updated on the situation. Facebook allowed me to give my condolences as well.

It's hard, sometimes, when someone far away has died and there's no way to attend a funeral. My brother experienced that earlier this year when his Guildmaster in Warcraft was killed by a drunk driver. He organized a memorial meeting online and that helped people with their grieving process. At least I think it helped with his grieving process. Maybe it seems silly - a Warcraft funeral, really? - but these connections we make with people happen in all kinds of ways nowadays. As unlimited as we are now forming new connections, we are still limited in some ways.

I for one am glad to have met as many wonderful people as I have, even if I haven't met all of them face-to-face.

[Related to the blog post: I also read Where is Raed? back in 2003. Read more about it on Wikipedia. One entry I recall vividly is the one where a guest blogger and Salam were talking about the best ways to duct tape windows and lavendar scented candles. They didn't duct tape the candles, it was just mentioned that... oh, go read it.]

"One day, like in Afghanistan, those journalists will get bored and go write about Syria or Iran; Iraq will be off your media radar. Out of sight, out of mind. Lucky you, you have that option. I have to live it."


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