Difference between revisions of "Virtual Tombstone"

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===Facebook Profiles as Living Tombstones===
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===Definition===
Recently when someone with a facebook profile passes away their wall functions as a digital homage to that person. People write present tense addresses to the deceased person in this public space, knowing full well that they have passed away and will not be looking at these messages. Tombstones can be difficult to reach in real life, and also expensive. A death on a social network affords a social tombstone that can allow people to browse pictures, look at their accomplishments/friends, write a homage to the person, and generally reminisce, without leaving their seat.
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A virtual tombstone is a non-physical memorial site or placeholder for the identity or social presence of a loved one who has passed away. Virtual tombstones can take the shape of a memorial website, social network page or other digital entity. The page can include space for comments, condolences, pictures and other memories.
  
===Virtual Funerals===
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Given that tombstones can be difficult to reach and expensive in real life, a virtual tombstone seems to fill a natural void by allowing friends and family to browse pictures, look at their accomplishments/friends, write a homage to the person, and generally reminisce without leaving their seat. It is becoming increasingly common for people to store their passwords with someone they trust so that they can effectively manage that virtual self in case they pass away.<ref>Cheng, Jacqui. Death and social media: what happens to your life online? Ars Technica. Published March 2010, Accessed June 2011. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/death-and-social-media-what-happens-to-your-life-online.ars</ref>
Webcast funerals can reach more friends and relatives and reflect the fact that people are living more online.<ref>For Funerals Too Far, Mourners Gather on the Web http://nyti.ms/eD2adP</ref>
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The companies and policies that will fill these spaces will take the forms of digital wills, but there may be other currently unknowable legal ramifications affecting this space. One idea is to entrust next of kin of child to the data, as in a trust or will. But does a daughter want to know that her father had a mistress? Or a wife for that matter? The idea of passing on sensitive information is not new, but some secrets are hidden even in real life.
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Those who have passed away may leave profiles on social networks. Those who do not realize the person is no longer alive may leave messages for the deceased person in present tense. Sometimes visitors will write present-tense addresses to the deceased person in this public space, knowing full well that they have passed away and will not be looking at these messages.<ref>Lee, David. There's life after death if you're online. Social networking sites are having to devise policies to deal with the death of a user - and some are getting it more right than others. The Guardian. Published 7 August 2008, Accessed 30 June 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/aug/07/socialnetworking.myspace</ref> Even though a virtual memorial site may invite and encourage a great deal of interaction, some forms of interaction are not encouraged. For example, "poking" dead people is considered bad form.
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The idea of data transparency after death is just other one of the questions that we must consider when attempting to construct the future manifestation of the public and private space. The life of the celebrity has been a public one, whereas the life of the Everyman has generally been a more private one. Suddenly, the ability to place any photo or event anywhere represents a slicing up of reality that allows any moment to be colonized and made longer lasting or purposeful. To save moments in this way makes life into something that resembles an actual sport with instant replays , slow motion and consequences for game play. While teams, outcomes and opponents are not always clear - one thing is- on a media centric world -the individual gets the power to play the roles that have been shown to him by television culture. While television culture was one-way in terms of viewing, commercials being one of the only things capable of allowing the viewer to insert the self in place of the advertised, new, personal technologies allow the self to produce their own experience.
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===Further Reading===
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===Further Media===
*[[Second Self]]
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NetCafe Episode 206: Grim Reaper Web Sites. A look at how web sites deal with the subject of death. Sites featured include an information site on cemeteries, a tribute to the passing of Jerry Garcia, a virtual 3D graveyard, the pop culture death pool, and a virtual pet cemetery. Originally broadcast in 1998.<ref>http://archive.org/details/GrimReap98</ref>
 
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===External Links===
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*[http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/aug/07/socialnetworking.myspace There's life after death if you're online. Social networking sites are having to devise policies to deal with the death of a user - and some are getting it more right than others] Dave Lee The Guardian, Thursday 7 August 2008
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*[http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2010/dec/12/death-and-social-networks/ Death and social networks] The Credit Report. Published: December 12, 2010
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*[http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/death-and-social-media-what-happens-to-your-life-online.ars Death and social media: what happens to your life online?]
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By Jacqui Cheng | Last updated March 2010 ago
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==References==
 
==References==
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Latest revision as of 16:09, 16 September 2012

Definition

A virtual tombstone is a non-physical memorial site or placeholder for the identity or social presence of a loved one who has passed away. Virtual tombstones can take the shape of a memorial website, social network page or other digital entity. The page can include space for comments, condolences, pictures and other memories.

Given that tombstones can be difficult to reach and expensive in real life, a virtual tombstone seems to fill a natural void by allowing friends and family to browse pictures, look at their accomplishments/friends, write a homage to the person, and generally reminisce without leaving their seat. It is becoming increasingly common for people to store their passwords with someone they trust so that they can effectively manage that virtual self in case they pass away.[1]

Those who have passed away may leave profiles on social networks. Those who do not realize the person is no longer alive may leave messages for the deceased person in present tense. Sometimes visitors will write present-tense addresses to the deceased person in this public space, knowing full well that they have passed away and will not be looking at these messages.[2] Even though a virtual memorial site may invite and encourage a great deal of interaction, some forms of interaction are not encouraged. For example, "poking" dead people is considered bad form.

Further Media

NetCafe Episode 206: Grim Reaper Web Sites. A look at how web sites deal with the subject of death. Sites featured include an information site on cemeteries, a tribute to the passing of Jerry Garcia, a virtual 3D graveyard, the pop culture death pool, and a virtual pet cemetery. Originally broadcast in 1998.[3]

References

  1. Cheng, Jacqui. Death and social media: what happens to your life online? Ars Technica. Published March 2010, Accessed June 2011. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/death-and-social-media-what-happens-to-your-life-online.ars
  2. Lee, David. There's life after death if you're online. Social networking sites are having to devise policies to deal with the death of a user - and some are getting it more right than others. The Guardian. Published 7 August 2008, Accessed 30 June 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/aug/07/socialnetworking.myspace
  3. http://archive.org/details/GrimReap98