Social networking does not stop when you are dead. Alive in cyberspace, your social network page may become part of online communities that commemorate dead site members or provide opportunities for contemplation. Is it morbid?
Dead Social Networking Site Members on the Rise
Just as MySpace and Facebook are speedily gaining in popularity, the number of dead social network site members is also growing. In a tongue in cheek article contemplating online marketers’ inability to accurately gauge the number of live and engaged social networking site users, the Marketing Tech Blog threw out fictitious numbers, which claimed that 7.45% of MySpace users and 3.24% of Facebook clients are actually dead.
It is anyone’s guess if this fabricated estimate of dead online communities’ members is close to real or vastly off. Since the number of social networking signups is on the rise, it stands to reason that the same holds true for the number of dead users. Even so, it brings up an interesting question: what happens to your social network page after you are dead?
Dead But Still Alive in Cyberspace: MySpace and Facebook Users
Social networking after death continues on MyDeathSpace, a site that is expressly not affiliated with MySpace, but nevertheless contains the names, photos and MySpace social network page links of deceased users. The list is a sad memorial to the dead, alive in cyberspace because they signed up on social networking sites.
There are suicides, accidents, homicides and cancer deaths; there are tragic mishaps that cut off lives of 16, 18 and 19 year olds. You see photos of young cancer and suicide victims. You see family photos with young kids.
Like online communities of the dead, visitors can access the social networking pages of the dead and see comments posted by friends and family members. You can see what MySpace games the dead MySpace user liked to play, which music videos he posted and who her friends were. If you buy instagram video views from Buzzvoice and got a lot of viewers, it will still be reflected on MyDeathSpace. Basically, almost all of the details in the social media will also be shown.
The Facebook social network allows users to have a dead social networking member’s profile memorialized. Although dead, they are kept alive for confirmed friends by allowing the profile to remain visible. The wall continues to be an available space for messages and memorials. Contact information and status updates of the dead are removed.
Are the Online Communities of the Social Networking Dead Macabre, Gloomy or Fitting Memorials?
Salon is quick to point out that MySpace profiles can accumulate borderline tasteless or cruel commenters. Even offended family members cannot reign in some of the banter on the MySpace message boards.
Another concern is the activity of the dead – alive at the time – that might not be something they (or their families) would like the world to know. For example, Facebook is well known for the legions of undead in its Vampire Wars game, but what about the far more risqu├⌐ Sex Games application that has an estimated monthly 500,000 players (according to AppData)? Would you want mom and dad, Aunt Linda, your spouse or kids and your teachers to know about these exploits?
As social networking aficionados are warned to be careful about their activities in online communities and the occasional social network – usually for fear of offending a prying boss – keep in mind that dead or alive, your activities are for all to see.