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Such coffin alarms have been superseded by the mobile phone.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.


Filed under General Thoughts, supernatural

14 responses to “Facebook From Beyond the Grave: Update

  1. Well, I sometimes almost die of shame about what I put on Facebook – but that’s not quite the same thing!

    Had a read of the cell phone haunting article, because I love reading about these poltergeist experiences:

    “the Ross family told the Gazette how The Thing had ‘pulled at their bed covers while they were asleep” and that they “sensed a vile smell and felt something breathing in their ears'”

    Yeeaah, that’ll just be a flatulent dog with halitosis. This myth has been busted!

  2. Gus

    The Victorian fear of being buried alive was, as far as I know, a legitimate one – hence coffins being left overnight in lych gates before burial the next day – just in case.
    As for mobile phones, as Bruce will attest, these are used constantly by the (regrettably) undead on the train between Bath and London.

  3. brucehood

    No Gus, those are not the undead but the brain dead. I had one last week going on about “prioritizing” and “added value” for over an 1hr!!! I was just about to throw myself off the train for the sweet embrace of deathly silence!

    Are you not supposed to be in Cannes?

  4. Gus

    In Cannes, yet still, spookily, in touch…
    My experience is that, the nearer London you get on the train, the more crap people talk. At Bath it’s the ocassional “added value”, by the time you get to Reading it’s a blizzard of “re-inventing the wheel”. They should all be shot.
    Meanwhile, your note re Peter Gabriel’s ‘Filter’ site – don’t you think this does precisely the opposite of what’s interesting about using the internet and/or looking through a reference book – i.e. finding out stuff that is exactly not what you formerly thought you would be interested in…? Bah humbug, etc

  5. poietes

    Oh please tell me no, that this is not happening. Score another point for being cremated. At least I will not have to listen to the eternal racket of battling themes from whatever popular ringtones are selling for $.99 if I am but ashes. I have grown to hate my phone. I leave the ringer turned down most of the time, and screen so much that if I were to be called by someone wanting to publish me, I would probably never know. I can only surmise how bad it is across the water, but imagine every fast food place in America with every teenager in America trying to out talk each other, mothers ignoring crying babies while shouting at husbands, lovers, or whatevers in Wal Mart, and even though we don’t have the widespread public transportation, never fear: everyone wants their conversations to be heard so they speak loudly enough over their music that cars two lanes over will know about their stomach problems, their finances, their dogs, etcetera.

    I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room a few weeks ago, and was treated to one woman’s entire medical history, which she was supplying over the phone to another doctor’s office.

    What has happened to the idea of keeping private information private. Why this incessant need to share–in restaurants, stores, offices, even public facilities?

    Please, no phones in coffins. I’m certain someone will find a way to use one. It will be a modern-day purgatory that even Dante couldn’t comprehend.

  6. When, in the mists of grief, I forget about this article, will someone please remind me to remove my mothers mobile before we bury her…

  7. If there’s a choice, I’m going six feet under with a telly rather than a mobile. I can barely get coverage with Orange above ground, let alone below it.

  8. “….a modern-day purgatory that even Dante couldn’t comprehend.”

    Hello! Yeah, it’s me. You’ll have to shout, I’m in the third circle… THE THIRD CIRCLE!…I SAID… THE THIR… oh, sod it…she’s gone.

  9. poietes

    “And then I says to me Aunt Clara, I says . . . Hold on, I think I hear someone calling . . . Hello? Hello? Are you there?

    Damn! I hate those third circlers. Always trying to pop in and ruin it for the rest of us purgatorians.

    So where was I? So I’m telling my Aunt Clara about Harry’s boils . . . ”

    help me . . . i’m melting . . . i’m surrounded by people with cellulars, and they won’t shut up . . .

  10. brucehood

    Poietes, I think you need call waiting… far too many crossed lines

  11. poietes

    Good lord, the last thing I want to do in hell is have call waiting. I imagine that hell will be filled with such interesting people (I once wrote a short story about a dinner in hell; dinner was late because Sylvia Plath had her head stuck in the oven again) that to put someone on hold while I took another call from someone trying to sell me purgatory insurance for my pets would sorely try my patience.

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