Daily Archives: February 16, 2009

Facebook From Beyond the Grave: Update

nokiacoffin1Yesterday, Facebook announced that it now has 175million users. It was only one month ago that the figure of 150 million was announced. With that sort of exponential rise, it seems that even if it can’t find a decent way of making money, it will continue to dominate the social networking world.

But what happens in the next world? Fear not, local digital media superstar, Peter Gabriel has been working on TheMemory.com, “a social networking site for the dead.” From what I understand, it works in much the same way of his current site, “The Filter,” which keeps track of individual preferencespeter-gabriel and tastes in movies and music. By adding various social networking functions such as sending out birthday reminders and inane stupid gifts to others on the network, I can see how the actual individual does not necessarily have to be still alive. Seems really spooky.

But how does the dead person update their profile? It would appear that maybe “Tweetie” is the answer as an increasing number of people are requesting that they are buried with their mobile phones in the coffin. This practice which started out in witchcraft-fearing South Africa reflects the same Victorian fear of being buried alive. That’s why some Victorians were buried with a chain attached to a bell at the graveside to alert passers-by that the interred was still alive. 

Such coffin alarms have been superseded by the mobile phone. Apparently, low battery power is not a problem. Frank Jones, whose wife Sadie was buried with her mobile phone five years ago, still receives calls and text messages. Even in this technological scientific age, supernatural beliefs simply adapt to fit what most of us want to believe. That’s why you can’t get rid of them that easily.

Update: Aparently death is not legally binding as far as Facebook is concerned. This month, when Facebook updated its terms, it deleted a provision that said users could remove their content at any time, at which time the license would expire. Further, it added new language that said Facebook would retain users’ content and licenses after an account was terminated.

So be careful what you post. As soon as you press ‘return,’ it is no longer under your control – even if you delete the file or yourself.

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Filed under General Thoughts, supernatural