Social Media… It is a very loaded topic. In a way, it has become a digital civilization. People who use Facebook as a main source of information are the reason that I fear for a new generation of young adults.
They say gossip spreads like wildfire. On sites like Facebook things are transferred almost immediately. The problem is that things said to the public from friends and followers are entirely hearsay.
Today, I leaned that a former classmate had passed away. How, you might wonder? I found out not through a friend, or even a real person, but rather his status. Scrolling through my newsfeed I came across a post that was created to inform “friends” that his life ended in 2015. The status was as cold and emotionless as a gravestone. It did not state anything about his life, but rather just gave a date of death. It is almost as if social media is becoming less about connecting with others and more about creating an online data base of a timeline of someones life. I took a minuet to consider how easy it would be to fake your death through a simple click of a status update. In a matter of minuets, 800 plus people could easily believe me to be dead.
Of course he will be dearly missed by friends, family, and an entire community. Posts on his wall still stream in from mourning classmates and friends… posts which will never be seen by the deceased. Although the owner of the Facebook account has passed on, his online presence still manages to linger. Still the disturbing fact is that some grieving friend or family member felt the need to update his final “status.” There is something eerie about how this was top priority right after his death.
More and more I am starting to respect my friends who took a stand and refused to cave into this social trend of Facebook. Either by coincidence or a connection, they seem to be more compassionate and make face to face interactions so much more meaningful. Still, my community has lost a friend, and will take time to recover from such a loss.