The dead among us

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 @ 3:09 | life

An article titled “Digital Footprints” on the videogame magazine The Escapist held my thoughts. It concerns a phenomenon I’ve wondered before: people talking to dead people on their blogs, forums, MySpace pages and so on, with full knowledge they’re addressing a person already gone.

I haven’t done this myself and I’m wondering: do they think the dead person might hear them? Are they comforting themselves? Are they participating in shared grieving?

Admittedly, I probably would feel like making a farewell comment on a dead friend’s blog, to provide closure, and acknowledge that he or she is gone. Somehow it would feel wrong to see the same old sites, just like they were when the persons concerned were still alive.
Not that this is a new behavior by any means. People have always left cards and spoken aloud to dead persons. It’s just the nature of the Web that these private or small-circle’s thoughts are now public and in many ways more permanent.

In a way, I think it’s beautiful, giving presence to the dead.

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