Another friend dead.
Another Facebook page still active.
I understand the deceased’s family has to involve the Attorney General to get FB to remove a dead person’s profile. Why?
But then — hell — still living, I tried to delete my Vine account last week and it was impossible to do it. I needed to contact the president of the company or equivalent and get his permission.
Vines. How entwined, how enmeshed are we into these cross-connects of social networks? And why do the corps that run them need me so desperately to stay? Alive…or dead?
Five friends have died since I joined Facebook about 7 years ago. And it’s weird and now doubly voyeuristic to visit their pages when curiosity overcomes me. And it does. I click in and trawl around. It’s kind of awful.
Friends and family continue to scrawl comments — especially around holidays and anniversaries — as if the dead person can ‘read’ them. Nothing says disconnected from reality like: “Love you babe, I know you’re reading this somewhere. Here’s a picture of Tammy’s new baby.” Shit like that.
But then how ‘real’ is any of the interacting that occurs here, now, with the ‘living’.
I could have dropped dead after typing this post and a handful of you would be commenting, liking, and I might be writhing on the ground alongside my desk, savoring my last breath and getting the strangest download:
I’m imagining Hamlet at the grave and he’s turning the skull ’round and there’s a Facebook ‘LIKE’ logo etched into the dome-top. And for a soundtrack there’s that line from Joni Mitchell‘s Hejira:
‘Well I looked at the granite markers
Those tributes to finality, to eternity
And then I looked at myself here
Chicken scratching for my immortality’
I guess that’s part of the big unconscious draw to leaving trails on FB — be ye alive or dead — ‘chicken scratching’ for our immortality. And of those that have already flown the coop? They’re liking this in heaven.
Painting by Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix, 1939, Louvre Museum