One of the things about getting older that is a real bummer is that people die. Not video-game die, either, or “facebook suicide”, but actually, physically, permanently die. When you’re young, it is usually less tangible. Sure, there were pets or some aged relative who died, but the young don’t think about it that much, usually.
When you get older, though, it is something you think about, and something that happens more often. The chance of someone you know dying increases a little each year. At first it is just one or two people, a grandparent, or someone you kind-of knew in high school. Over time more people get added to that pool. Someone has a car accident. Someone kills themselves. Someone has a heart attack.
It used to be that you would hear about these things from a kind-hearted friend or relative, a phone call in the early morning hours frequently presaged the bad news. The trend I have noticed lately and which has alarmed me enough to post about it is that I have been hearing about people dying, not through relatives or friends, but through posts on Facebook.
The machine has little tact, either. The page sits there with a little icon of the person’s profile photo, and reminds me that I haven’t talked to them in awhile. I go to the page and discover, thanks to the sympathy wall-posts, that they’re gone. Real classy, Facebook.
Worse, when a page becomes a “memorial”, all of the individual’s posts are removed, and it becomes a place only for messages of remembrance. Except, that by removing the person’s posts, we’re left with nothing to remember them by.
At this point, I have two Facebook friends whose deaths I discovered this way… I wonder how many more?