By: Steven Goodman – Columnist, Sophomore
Worried about what is going to happen to your Facebook profile after you are gone?
Yes? No? Who cares?
Well, regardless of what your answer is, Facebook is doing something about it.
Recently, Facebook announced that any user’s profile can now be “memorialized” by a friend or family after the account holder passes. This basically means some of the data on your profile that has been uploaded for years will be viewable forever (unless Facebook shuts down).
In addition to this, a user can request a “Look Back” video, which I imagine is a collection of every status, photo, video or shared link a person has ever posted.
Of course, Facebook itself doesn’t know when the owner of a profile has passed away. The company is only aware of this if it is reported to them, most likely by a family member trying to get the account removed. This might seem like a great idea or alternative to deleting an account, but does it really matter what we did on Facebook? Sure, during the time we’re alive it’s important to us and Facebook allows us to connect to our friends in new ways, but what goes on in the actual world will always be much more important.
I can see what Facebook is trying to do with this new idea: provide a way for family and friends to still “see” their loved one and tell them something via his or her Facebook wall.
Still, I feel like the profile should just be deleted. Unfortunately, in an age where data floats endlessly in cyberspace, making that happen may not be fully possible.
Typically Facebook is the place we post funny ideas, chat with friends and upload silly pictures, but is that what we really want to memorialize? Looking at what a person did with their lives outside of Facebook will always be much more memorable and important because that is what’s real.
In my case, I’d rather just have my profile deleted completely and not look back on that decision with regret.
Does it really matter what I posted on Facebook or the comments I made on friends’ walls? I would much rather be remembered for what I’ve accomplished in the real world rather than a digital one.
I think I see where Facebook is coming from. It’s offering the choice of what to do with an account after the creator of that account has passed on and a memorial is pretty respectable way to show appreciation for the lost loved one.
I know I’m not an expert in social media websites, but can we stop thinking that entities like Facebook define our lives and are a part of real life?
Is it really that difficult to just delete an account?