A strange social media situation
Over the years, the number of social networking sites have increased, and so has their popularity. Three years ago, I lost a friend that I worked with to cancer. It must have been a period of a couple months that passed before her social networking accounts were retired. This was to be expected, but in those two months, I wondered why her accounts were still active and why they had not been discontinued soon after her passing. Respectfully, I knew Lisa and she was a friend.
At least six years ago, I received a request on two social networking sites from a person whom I had never met formally, Bob. However, we both were connected at one time to a common software company, so I accepted his requests. Unlike me, Bob was rather active on social networking, and he even emailed me a few times. In addition to being an ardent social networker, Bob had vast business experience, was a former athlete, and followed the same sports teams I follow! He was maybe a couple years older than me. Because of these connections, I felt a sense of loss when I saw Bob’s obituary this past spring, and was sad that we had never met or even talked on the phone!
Although Bob had passed away, his profile remained on both of the social networking sites we shared. Since I had never met him, I must admit that I started to question if I had seen the correct obituary for the right person!
A few weeks ago, I received a message from Bob to "like" certain business associations. I was shocked, and immediately got in touch with a person who went to the same high school and knew him. My friend confirmed Bob had died, but had no explanation for Bob's recent message. I started to question my friend, that this just doesn't make sense and asked him, are you sure? He responded affirmatively by saying “Cordell, the man is dead!”
Strange things happen, and my guess is that Bob's account must have been hacked into, or someone with access was doing some strange things with it. I just don't know. Still, it made me think about what the protocol is, and what it should be for social networking people who are no longer living.