Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What's the death etiquette?

Not that I'm partial to etiquette - but it's a question I explore in this essay in the Advocate.

Some commenters argue it's just not gay enough, which is the first time in my LIFE I've heard that criticism. But you got what you wanted, integration, and now the whole world knows homosexuals cope with life and death and digital age moral dilemmas same as other humans! Click below to read:

Op-ed: One Final Status Update

Photo (and Photoshop!) credit to Kevin Hees
Dead Facebook Friend credit to Arron, Mark and Anthony. I miss you. And Arron, really?  That last status update - did you catch the hilarity on your computer screen as you strangled to death?
Content credit: my thoughts mixed and influenced by Facebook friends after a status update.
Thanks to Matt Breen and the editorial staff at The Advocate.


Eddie in OKC said...

I love Jesse Archer.

Jesse Archer said...

Eddie you're the best. I don't deserve you baby! Hugs & love to you!

Tony said...

Since my local Barnes and Noble has apparently stopped carrying the print version of the Advocate, I didn't see your interesting op-ed until you posted it.
Maybe people should leave instructions in their will whether to take down their Facebook page, or not.
But does a Facebook page that stays up after we've gone constitute the best shot at immortality for many of us?
Looking forward to your next op-ed.

Unknown said...

You made me tear up with this one, Honey. Most of my crew went long before Facebook existed, so I remember them the old-fashioned way, which allows the memory to fade and become more positive over time.

But for the few that fall into the "living on Facebook" category, I agree totally. Seeing someone show up in my News Feed like he was still around makes me jumpy. I want to remember my friends the way I want remember them, not the way Facebook makes me remember them.

xoxox always, Auntie M

Michael H said...

That article was poignant. While I was an RA in college, one of the other RA's had a resident who slipped under their radar and hung himself. He left several cryptic status updates about lost friendships and a need to run into the forest, wild and alive. I barely knew the kid and these remnants of his life on facebook were more haunting and bewildering than any horror film I have ever seen.

I think it's the compound of facebook as a vehicle for leisurely mass social communication and as a vehicle of introspection, confession and genuine, emotional expression -- those status updates were deeper than a conversation, because they were thoughts. He was communicating to himself. This stuff still creeps up on me every now and then.

My anecdote aside, the article was wonderful. People need to wake up and smell a nice cup of reality every now and again!

Nicole said...

I am with you, Jesse. I can't bring myself to unfriend people when they are gone - feels like saying I don't love them anymore - but the updates are haunting.

Last weekend we buried by brother in law's ashes and tomorrow I will attend a funeral for one of my students who passed away unexpectedly. Both have facebook pages. My brother in law's doesn't really affect me, but one of the last things the student wrote was "I can't wait to be 16."

Jesse Archer said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories. It is funny, Auntie M, how memories in the mind get smoothed out over time into nothing but positives. But then there's FB - and those thoughts and updates which are crystallized. Yet I can't seem to delete them still.