FaceBook Quandry … What Do You Do When A Friend Dies?

I have a quandary …

Maybe it’s just me. I don’t know.

I like FaceBook, I really do …

In spite of the many annoying “improvements” that have been added to FaceBook over the past couple of years, the basic qualities are still there.

Mainly, I like the way it has allowed me to re-connect with old friends and helped me to make new ones. Facebook allows me to stay in contact with people I like. People I don’t see every day … people I actually never see at all.

While I steadfastly refuse take part in any of the multitude of clever schemes that the creators offer to entice us to give up our personal information, I log into FaceBook almost every single day, just to see what others are doing and to let them know what I’m up to.

For me, a visit to Facebook is almost always uplifting and enjoyable.

But, occasionally it’s a sad experience. Sometimes I log in to find that someone is ill, has suffered a set-back, or that someone near to them has died.

Once in a while, it’s the FaceBook friend themselves who has passed away … and this is my quandary.

When a FaceBook friend dies, they’re gone. Obviously you can no longer maintain the normal social connection that FaceBook was designed to create.

But, for whatever reason, the Facebook pages of friends who have died are rarely taken down.

There doesn’t seem to be any particular protocol. And maybe there shouldn’t be one. Someone from the family generally posts the sad news. Others pay their last respects and give testimony to how much they will miss their friend. and that’s it.

From that point, the FaceBook page becomes frozen in time, a constant reminder that a person we knew and considered a friend is no longer with us.

Still, an icon with their smiling face appears on our friends list.

Still, we are notified when they have a birthday pending.

Still, we are asked to suggest other friends for them.

In short, FaceBook becomes a sort of cyber purgatory for our departed friends. And it’s all a bit weird and disconcerting.

But, what are the options? Because they are still my friend, I do not care to “Unfriend” someone who has died.

It leaves me a bit bewildered.

Like I say, maybe it’s just me. I don’t know.

About Judson

Late bloomer ... aspiring writer and musician.
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3 Responses to FaceBook Quandry … What Do You Do When A Friend Dies?

  1. Richard Pressley says:

    Can be a daunting question. Our emotions change with the grieving process. Leaving intact or not continuing a page of the deceased is a consequence of this. A friend grieves also and has to make similar choices without remorse. Not one answer fits all.

  2. nrhatch says:

    When someone I didn’t know well died, I did click “unfriend” on FB. I just didn’t see the point of having a link to their page. With a close friend, I’d probably remain linked to their page ~ even if it meant getting the occasional reminder of their passing.

    Leaving the page up there as a “memorial” gives people who don’t visit FB regularly a chance to pay their “last respects” and read the messages of condolences.

  3. Pingback: Life and Death & Cyber Shadows | Spirit Lights The Way

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