Do people who pass from this earth check myspace from heaven?

May 1st, 2006 → Leave a comment

I was reading a blog entry on myspace about someone who had attended a funeral of a family friend. The girl who died was very young. She was 24 and died in a car accident. He provided a link to her myspace page. It was strange. People were posting comments to her myspace page, remembering her after her death.

“See you soon.”

“I’ll miss you. RIP”

“I’ll always have great memories of you.”

My friend told me that a girl from her old college committed suicide. And she was memorialized in the same way. People were posting memorial messages on her myspace and classmates.com pages.

Their pages were the same as when they were alive. Their hometown, age, all those stats won’t change now or ever. It’s all the stuff that the people left behind add to it that change it.

One of my friendsters, a friend from college, passed away last year unexpectedly. It was so sad because I hadn’t seen much of him. He was so nice to me and once gave me a shirt that said “Hello My Name is Satan.” We were never super close, but I liked the guy a lot. Occasionally, I will look through my testimonials and see the really crass one he left for me about my nipples (which he never saw btw) that I kept up there because our friendship was odd like that. I also left him some really stupid and pointless testimonial in return about his kiddy porn collection (which I am assuming he didn’t have).

I haven’t deleted either of them.

After his death, I clicked onto his page and of course he hadn’t logged on recently. It’s almost eerie to look at it. Especially to see when he had last logged on and to know it won’t change. It’s odd to think that in cyber heaven, he still gets bulletin board posts about parties and rallies. They’ll just collect there. Unread.

But there he is. Right there in front of me. There is his friendster page. He’s not alive anymore, but you wouldn’t know it.

It’s got me thinking about the digital age and how we memorialize people. I actually started and never finished an art project after 9/11. I was collecting images of “digital memorabilia” that people were producing for the victims of 9/11. Much of it was completely consumer driven get rich quick stuff and totally inappropriate. It was almost appalling some of the t-shirts people were making for a quick buck. I went by the WTC site after 9/11. It was a street vendor’s madhouse.

But what was the “appropriate” response?

So here are my questions. Do we tell Tom Anderson at myspace when their users have died? Is it appropriate to memorialize people in comments? Do we keep our friends who have passed in our myspace network?

Remember that old saying, “Wear clean underwear, in case you get hit by a truck?”

Is this something we need to think about in the digital age?

Keep your myspace profile “decent”– you never know if you won’t be able to edit it again?

Category: Blog

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