Lawrence Schimel (desayunoencama) wrote,
Lawrence Schimel
desayunoencama

digital ghosts

Do people delete from their online "friendships" the profiles of friends who have passed away?

Facebook says that today is the birthday for a publishing colleague who passed away last year, and I just had to inform another colleague who hadn't heard the news that she shouldn't be writing HAPPY BIRTHDAY on her wall any longer.

The title poem for my new poetry collection, DELETED NAMES, is about this issue, more specifically: whether or not to delete the entry for a friend who passed away, because every time I scrolled past her name in my phone's address book, it provokes a fresh pang of sadness, but at the same time it feels like that digital link is the last remaining tie of our friendship and to sever it would be worse.

With the more-public online profiles, like the Facebook page of the woman whose birthday would've been today, many people wrote tributes on her wall after she passed away. Which is one reason I didn't "unfriend" her profile yet.

Although, thinking for myself, I'd rather my profile be taken down after I'm gone, if no one were going to be "managing" it (with updates of my posthumous publications, perhaps).

Are people making arrangements for what will happen to their online profiles after they pass away?

Am I awful for thinking that, on a practical level, since I've hit the limit of 5000 contacts on Facebook, if I do delete this deceased colleague from my "friends" list, I could add someone else?
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