“A glitch on Friday afternoon led Facebook to declare two million users, including Zuckerberg himself, prematurely dead. People logged in to their accounts to find that they had been ‘memorialized'” –The Guardian
Our lives and technology have intertwined with often uncanny fallout. In the Autumn issue of the London Reader, #cyberpunkNOW, a piece of minifiction by Benn Ward looks at the eerie cybershade that lives on in social media after a person’s death:
by Benn Ward
I HAD WORK in the morning, my first day back after the funeral, but I sat awake in the light of my computer screen, clicking through Dad’s Facebook page.
Condolences and prayers were still popping up on his wall—“You were the best coach I could have asked for. Thank you,” and, “Steve and I will always remember you. Love, Cherryl”—as if they were writing to his smiling profile picture taken at the top of Mount Rundle.
All of his Likes were in the present tense too. Curling. Hiking. He hadn’t played cribbage in years, but it was listed there. His most recent photo was from a friend’s retirement party in February at the Westwood Lodge, when he could still walk.
His last status was just beneath the condolences, asking if anyone had a spare 20 litre pot they could lend our family for Easter Dinner. He had trouble chewing solid foods, and Mom was going to make a soup.
These photographs, these words, this contrail of his life, is all that’s left. But none of the pictures showed him in his hospital bed, unspeaking, shaking, as he grasped my hand.
To read more of the #cyberpunkNOW issue, including another piece of minifiction in the “Facebook Family Furnishings” series by Benn Ward, subscribe or donate to the London Reader.