Recently when Alan Knight, one of the most-renowned academicians on media, passed away his Facebook page changed completely. It was a page where Knight shared his reflections as well as personal anecdotes. However, it changed to become a memorial site for his immediate community following his demise. It became a site where people, who were acquainted with him and loved him, came and shared their memories with him. They raised a toast to his life as well. Such changes, notably, are increasingly become a lot more regular these days. Read on to explore details.
Has it become common?
These days it is common to see people grieving on social media after death, during illness and many such untoward incidents. Margaret Gibson, a sociologist with the Griffith University, says that it is time people accepted the fact that most of the times our grief culture finds its expressions in the social media and networking sites. Gibson is an expert on this issue having conducted in-depth research on ways in which death is manifest in the virtual world. She says quite clearly that social media has evolved from being “just” a supplementary part of our lives.
The community feeling
It is pretty common to see people putting up photos of their loved ones who are not with them anymore. Most of the times people in their network come on such posts and console them with heartfelt messages of love and support. They always wish the best for them and help them through such tough times that can be unbearable without all the love and support coming their way. This represents a major shift in attitude in Facebook where once death was regarded as a taboo. These days, it is okay to talk about this sordid but inevitable aspect of their lives.
A change from narcissism
Normally, social media is a place where narcissistic tendencies are promoted and people are busy being macho and encouraging others whom they like. However, a post regarding death changes everything as people become a lot more earnest. People console others and the atmosphere is a lot more spiritual. You see people praying and expressing their thoughts. However, the biggest issue with all this is that all the change is just for a few minutes even as people return to their normal routines. So, at times, it feels fake and obligatory but still for the people who get the messages they mean a lot.