So this morning, for the second time this year, my high school graduating class lost one of our own. She wasn’t a close friend of mine, but she was definetely someone who I loved talking to, always seemed to be smiling or laughing loudly, and had a close group of friends that loved her very much. After learning of her death (or that someone had told someone else that they had heard a girl from our graduating class had been in a car wreck), I decided I should check out the facebook to see if people had said more about the events (to confirm that they were true or not was my primary motivation). I went to her facebook profile and a friend of hers had just posted a message on her wall, stating that today she had been in a car accident and unfortunatly, had not survived. It seems that at this point, very few people knew about the terrible events. About fifteen minutes later, my NewsFeed notified me that a group had been created for the remembrance of the friend we had lost. I instantly joined the group. Approximately twenty minutes later, the group had gone from 3 members to 47 members. I am willing to bet that by the time I finish typing this blog entry, the group will have increased in its member size even more significantly, more posts will have been written on her wall, more images will have been posted showing her with her friends, more information about the car accident itself will have been revealed to the public, and people will have started a unique process of grieving that would not have been possible five years ago.
This “grief on facebook” phenomena seems to be something that many participate in. My guess is that the community of the facebook isn’t really fully realized until something such as a death of a friend occurs. The instant nature of notifications and messages to large amounts of people make the grieving process even more interesting. Individuals who are participating can share their favorite stories of their lost friend, can post images that remind everyone how great that individual was to spend time with, there might be some closure in leaving a message for your lost friends on their facebook wall. I think this would be an interesting space to research…. I know it happens each and every day for many individuals who are members of the facebook community.
Have any of you experienced similiar events on facebook?