Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Should You “Un-Friend” Dead Facebook Friends?

I don’t do much on LinkedIn, at least not at this point in my life. But I regularly get requests from people I know – and don’t know – to connect. One of them is an old friend of my husband’s…who’s dead.
I’m not sure his family knows about the account, as LinkedIn tends to be strictly business-oriented. And I’m not sure how to bring it up. But it’s a little unnerving to see his name pop up now and then.
Facebook, I’ve found out, actually has a policy on accounts held by people who have died. Family members can permanently remove a page. They also have the option of converting it to a “memorial” page, which allows friends to continue to leave messages on it.
Some people find the ability to share information online – and indeed grieve online – to be a blessing. It can be a way for people from all parts of someone’s life to come together to remember them.
The etiquette, according to advice columnist Amy Dickinson in a July 5th Denver Post article, “Facebook and the New Face of Grieving”, is evolving. Like many other situations, technology presents opportunities and complications at the same time.
Which brings me back to the title of this post: I was part of a Facebook group that tracked the health of a friend who was dying of brain cancer. He’s been dead for several months now, and the group is still prominent on my page, though inactive. Should I leave the group? Should I leave it up, as a reminder of a wonderful friend and the friends who loved him? For now, at least, it’s the latter, not because I’m likely to ever forget him, but because it’s nice to remember him, too.
To read the entire article:

1 comment:

Annie Boreson said...

This is a strange, but important topic. I have a friend who committed suicide and I just don't seem to be able to "defriend" her, especially under the circumstance. She left a note which basically said that everyone was too busy and there was never time for her. I will never get rid of her page...someone else will have to do it. Thanks for tackling this touchy subject.