Lives behind Facebook

My younger brother and I had a conversation after finishing our breakfast. We talked about some pages in Facebook, and it led us to go through his Facebook friends. While skimming through friends’ Facebook profile photos on his iPad, he pointed out at one man’s photo and said that this guy already passed away. The guy was my brother’s Japanese friend who used to work with him. He was younger than my brother. Sadly, he died from cancer.

That guy’s younger sister posted the message about his death on his Facebook wall. She could use his user because he automatically signed into the site on his mobile phone or computer. She hasn’t discontinued her brother’s Facebook user. Once in a while, she still posts something on his wall.

“Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, within my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

When I firstly read the above sentences in Thai-translated version of Norwegian woods, they’ve left a great impact on my viewpoint of life and death. The words still lie somewhere in my memory which they sometimes float through my brain to remind me of this truth.

Facebook users are people who choose to share some aspects of their lives with the virtual world. From that belief, I will never doubt the existence of my Facebook friends. I read their status updates, like their travel photos, or give comments in their posts. If some of them never update their own statuses or just stop posting something, I just think that they don’t want to use their accounts. However, I ponder the story from my brother along with the quote by Murakami, and I realize that I should be certain of nothing.

Supposedly, I suddenly died and my family went through my stuff such as iPhone, iPad or a laptop. They would be able to write the story as if I was still alive, or they would tell the others about my non-existence. Moreover, if my Facebook account or even this WordPress blog were active on the Internet; people, who by chance came across my virtual account, would hardly know that I didn’t exist in the real world anymore.

I just think about that, and this hypothesis can go to others as well.


One thought on “Lives behind Facebook

  1. Sad but true. Virtual accounts will become painful for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them. One of my friends passed away more than 10 years ago. I can’t even imagine the pain his fiancée went through when she logged on his Friendster to inform his friends of his sudden death.

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