Err, Hello Dear Contact, Are you Dead?


I am getting to that age when your friends around you start falling off the perch. The frequency of funeral attendances of old soldiers, family and friends is a disturbing reality, and no doubt I might pop my clogs too, one of these days. In some respects, I guess this is a little taboo, but just this morning while browsing my Facebook account up pops poor old Joe Bloggs, a now late, former teacher from years back, when the cane was the order of the day.
Its a little eerie when a now ghostly appearance is made suggesting Joe Bloggs be ‘Added as a Friend’, which you cannot help but refuse. It gives you’re the shivers! At LinkedIn I had a recently passed contact, a dear friend and colleague too, still on my listing. Deleting him was akin to having the dog put down at the vet, I kid you not.
Having absented myself from Ecademy for a few months while sorting out my life, I realise that I had deserted all my old contacts. I am making amends, however, and am sending out a few personal messages to ‘re-connect’. It strikes me though, that in some cases I am going to be communicating, inevitably, with the dead. I feel like some dodgy medium, crystal ball and all, because these social networks just don’t seem to let their cyber personalities die along with their physical beings.
It has got me wondering, how do the social networks handle deaths in the family? How can they know that poor old Joe Bloggs has popped his clogs? Short of being informed by the surviving contacts, perhaps there is no way the network administrators could know. Given my several hundred contacts, many of whom have not made direct contact in over a year, one starts to wonder how many have left the land of the living. Large contact lists are just too impersonal to really know.
Some clever Twitter applications can tell you how redundant a networker may be (through their lack of tweets), but no social network can tell you they are dead. And if they are, why are they still lingering on the lists. Even Ecademy profiles can tell you when last a person logged in and was active, but it is difficult to go from profile to profile gathering that information. Apparently, these contacts we have, do not die. How many dead people are haunting the hallowed halls of Ecademy?

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2 thoughts on “Err, Hello Dear Contact, Are you Dead?

  1. I too find some old friends still on social sites although long gone, some still have their web sites up and running. Odd, hope this can be cleared up. One in particular bugs me, Martin Jubb an old friend from Bristol.     Russel Sellick 

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