The issue of death and how to deal with it has already come to social media, with a number of social media sites having policies on how to deal with dead members, notifying the dead person's friends, allowing people to memorialize the dead, and so on.
But a new problem has been cropping up. With Facebook adding reminders to people to get in touch with their friends, it's inevitable that people have been getting some of these from beyond the grave, so to speak.
It happened to me last summer; a few days after a friend died tragically in a car accident, I got a Facebook message, chirping at me that I should "Reconnect with him!" Sigh. I wish I could.
"Facebook says it has been grappling with how to handle the ghosts in its machine but acknowledges that it has not found a good solution," reported the New York Times. ""It's a very sensitive topic," said Meredith Chin, a company spokeswoman, "and, of course, seeing deceased friends pop up can be painful." Given the site's size, "and people passing away every day, we're never going to be perfect at catching it,"" she told the paper.
Because Facebook had started out being for college students, death hadn't typically been a problem, but it's going to be more likely, the Times said. "People over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone, three times as many as in May 2009, according to the research firm comScore," the paper reported. "People over 65, of course, also have the country's highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse."