If we asked you where you got the latest breaking news story, what would you say? We can bet Facebook or Twitter would be a solid answer for many of you. Lately we’ve realized that social media is pretty much a virtual newspaper…complete with obituaries and all.
We’re not trying to ruin your day or be completely morbid but we’ve been around Facebook long enough to notice certain trends. One we picked up on was the “RIP so and so” status update complete with pictures and quotes about moving on. When someone dies nowadays, especially someone young, literally everybody knows about it. The news spreads so fast and so efficiently that we often wonder how we would find out about such tragedies without Facebook or Twitter. It’s safe to say we could rely on a phone call in the earlier days of technology…but who even does that anymore? It’s either a curse or a blessing…we haven’t decided yet.
Because of the virality – and sheer tragedy – of these situations, we are curious as to whether all of these death-bandwagoners are sincerely heartbroken or they just want to be part of the disaster. So many times we notice the death of teenager or 20-something contains phrases like, “We haven’t spoken in nearly 10 years but we were best friends in 4th grade.” …Really? Why even bother saying anything at all? Because they want everyone else around them to know that they lost someone who sat a lunch table kind of close to them in elementary school. They want attention. It’s not about who died, it’s about who can give them the most sympathy. Harsh, we know. But it’s also borderline nauseating. If you notice, the people closest to the person lost aren’t the ones posting nonstop. They’re the ones who get quiet because they’re the ones who are actually in mourning. It’s not a trend for them.
Fast forward to like a week after a person dies. Naturally everything fizzles out for most people because the trend is over. Here comes the sprinkle of people who write on the deceased’s Facebook wall or tag them in a status saying they’re at a restaurant together. We haven’t decided if it’s good or bad but we can kind of understand it. Social media is the only way of communicating with someone after they’re gone. It brings a sort of normalcy to the situation, as if for maybe that split second nothing has changed and they’ll reply to your post. But then reality hits you and it’s back to the loss. We say if it makes people feel better, even for a minute or two, then have at it. It’s still weird to see on your newsfeed though.
This may possibly be the biggest question of them all. What exactly should happen to their Social Media accounts? How long should they exist? Does Facebook know when a user passes away? Should friends and family have access to their accounts? It’s weird. And it’s eerie. In some odd way, it’s as if Facebook preserves their soul. Users can scroll back to before when the person was alive and read their old statuses and remember how it used to be. We haven’t figured out if that’s healthy or not but again, if it helps…then we give you a major green light.
Now that we’ve actively served as the rain cloud on your day, go watch some cat videos on Youtube to cheer yourself up.