I don't know about you, but through the years I've met a lot of people on the web. We've talked on the phone, even skyped, emailed, sent gifts, etc. We've gotten to know a lot about each other and, although we've never met, we've connected in a deep way.
And then when they pass, because we're not part of their immediate social network in real time, nobody lets us know. Probably, they don't even know we exist. Yes, I've received notices on facebook because I've been someone's friend, but we meet people in places other than social networking sites. It could just be an interest group...
Over the past year, I've lost quite a few people that I never met but had a very real tie to. After looking for a year to see if my friend was still alive, I've just finally found his obituary. We met through an asthma group in London (on line, of course).
For the past year, I've known that he must have passed (he was 87) but didn't know his relatives or any of his friends. So now, I finally found an obituary. He passed in June last year...
Don't you think someone just start a website so that we can post obituaries for Internet friends we never met, so that we can pay our respects and say one final thank you for the joy they brought us?
I believe the Internet idea is a nice thought. We lost hubbers that many of us felt very close too. Ernesthubs who also happened to be a friend on FB and Cris A. who also was not only a friend here; but on FB. I have met quite a few friends on the Internet and have mourned them like they were family.
Ernest's family still responds on his FB and his account last time I checked is still with HubPages. Many families realize when their loved one passes, they have made friendships on the Internet to so they keep the accounts open.
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and understand what you feel when you lose them. The website would be a wonderful idea.
Who would want this job? This theme for a website? People come and go on the Internet. When you don't hear from a cyber friend you have to dig much deeper to find out what has happened to them. That is, if you put a lot of importance into this "friendship" and really want to know. A cyber friendship is very limited, and many people don't put a lot of effort into them. Had you known your deceased cyber friend like a "regular" friend, you would have known his friends and relatives. And, you would have been informed about his death instead of having to search for his obituary. Unfortunately, cyber friends don't lay all their cards on the table. Lots of missing pieces, here.
Arlene, I think it depends. We often spoke on Skype. We talked on the phone. No, we didn't meet each other. However, I find it easier assessing people through writing than I do face to face. I often find that people lie all the time when they speak to each other, and when one points out that they said something differently they deny it and one cannot actually prove it because one recorded it.
However, when people write to each other, over a period of a anything between five and ten years, one learns a tremendous amount about their lives. I most certainly know more about some of my internet friends than I do about anyone I have met - with the exception of one person - that I have met in the flesh during my nine years in the USA.
Yes, I know a lot of people don't put any effort into cyber friendships. I don't either. These friendship evolved in spite of that, essentially because we had very similar interests. Also, while one can lie about certain things like age, jobs, etc. it is virtually impossible to lie about the degree of knowledge one has. The absence of it is revealed pretty much immediately.
The last guy I was speaking about was a professor of neuro science at Berkely and he graduated from Oxford in the UK. Very, very bright man. We were friends because we had a strong intellectual connection. If I don't connect to someone intellectually, I will never connect in any real sense to that person. So I find that when i connect to people, it's not something that they can lie about.
I am sorry for your loss, Sophia Angelique. I've met quite a few people on HubPages, but they also come and go. I don't question it anymore. They are all very busy with their writing, and most of them do leave for greener writing pastures. Emails are left unanswered. There are no explanations. But I do wish them well.
I think the idea you mentioned about a website for obituaries is one of the best I have ever heard of!
I would not know how to set it up, you're getting into the field of social networking, but if someone else were to do it, what a great idea!
My wee bar in Benidorm, when it was going, kept a list of next of kin and phone numbers for quite a few ex patriot friends of mine.
Nice to know there was a place (for a while) that kept contact numbers should someone meet an accident or illness that their families needed to be informed of.
An online site that could do that, and record deaths, would be a fantastic resource for many people throughout the world.
Not everyone has a partner living with them.
Hey SA...my husband died last July. I have kept his email address active and have been able to let those internet folks know that he never met but he knew via internet only. I intend to cancel the email account soon. I believe those folks who genuinely wanted to know why he was not online anymore, have found the answer via me. But, now...i'm done and will cancel it very soon. I figure those folks who were truly interested would have emailed him. Your friend was 87 and unfortunately maybe his family were quite a bit older too and may not have realized if they did not frequent the internet themselves. I think over time, this will change - i knew there were others that needed to know - folks i didn't know. I cancelled his other internet accounts and had a close friend post something on the sites i knew about and then i closed those accounts - it was just too much really....so keeping his email account active (a couple of them) was the way to go for me. It's a such a different time now when someone dies - there is the 'internet life' too.
There are actually a lot of websites that do nothing but copy and distribute obituaries. A friend of mine lost her teenage son last year and when I went online to see if there was any info, I found the original newspaper obituary from his hometown had been picked up by a half dozen of these sites and repeated all over the place.
Somewayoutahere. I guess you're right. When someone has passed, younger people have emailed me (like on facebook). However, my friend's wife as already gone and I didn't know any of his relatives. And what has puzzled me all along is his btinternet.co.uk email is still going. BTinternet is like ATT here and if he wasn't paying his bills, his account should have been closed. But that's not what happened. I never got back any returned emails so I was never sure.
Hestia De Voto, that's quite true. However, none of them are specific for Internet friends. What I was thinking was that when people on a social networking site or an interest group, etc. got to know that someone had passed, that there would be a particular obituary website that was for 'internet friends.' I've searched for a year for this particular friend and it took me all that time to find an obituary for him. I probably just used the wrong keywords to search.
Then everybody could pay their respects to their internet friend.
Before MySpace and Facebook came on the scene, we had member forums dedicated to various interests, plus Livejournal (and its successor, Dreamwidth) where people shared their lives, passions, enthusiasms and writing with online friends, usually behind friendslocks tailored to different custom groups ("my Trekkie friends" for example, or "my old college gang.")
These sites have often worked out "next of online kin" systems, so that if something happens to you, your real life family or friends will notify one of the group. On Livejournal and Dreamwidth, one can set an old journal as a legacy journal for someone who's passed.
An old fandom friend passed away about five years back, her next of online kin told all of us, and we left a memorial on her old LJ. I've got another longtime online friend with a very serious heart condition, and I trust that when she goes, her boyfriend will remember to email one of us so we can alert the rest of the group.
It's a little harder than it used to be, since one can be active in many online communities, some of them more intimate than others. There will be people who just quietly disappear. And it depends very, very much on the online community.
It's definitely something worth thinking about. A dedicated website wouldn't work...who would remember to check that? But I think as time goes on more and more people will have made some plans about how to notify online communities, since they've become part of our social fabric and experience.
Greekgeek, good thoughts. I do see it on facebook when one posts to someone's page, and then someone from their page will inform one. I've also had someone inform me (out of the blue) of someone's funeral which hit me for a six as it was an ex boyfriend from 35 years ago, but I guess you're right. Online friends let other online friends know...
I think i was thinking for when it wasn't on social networking, that there was some sort of site that relatives would put up an obituary so that when one hadn't heard from someone, one could search obituaries (obituaries on line) to see if they had passed).
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