Pop Culture, This Week on Facebook

What do you do with Dead Friends on Facebook?

I realize this is a somewhat macabre topic, but I’ve noticed that a few of my friends are in a different realm these days. I haven’t done an exhaustive search but I have at least 5 maybe 10 friends on Facebook that are now deceased. They range from people I was close with, partied with, or just somehow knew.

I’ve found that adding or subtracting just one person changes the FB algorithm and suddenly I’m seeing posts from someone whose posts I haven’t seen in a long time, even though a quick check of their profile shows they have been active on an almost daily basis.  Since I have pretty much met all the people I’m ever gonna met so the number of new friends is minimal. Hence removing deadweight is the only way to see friends I care about…or tweak my settings and hope Zuckerberg doesn’t screw with them.

This time of year, I tend to cull my friend list a little anyway. I keep a lot of people because of loyalty and whatever but fuck if we don’t interact anyway what is the point? And I know some of this is caused by the Book of Faces not showing you everyone’s status updates in your feed.  I really enjoyed it in the early days as a passive way to let my friends know what narcissistic me was up to, without carpet-bombing their inbox with my self serving emails. But now it has become more isolating.

So do I improve my feed by unfriending people who will never contribute to my feed again, or do I honor our friendship by keeping them in my friends list so that when alien anthropologists explore our post-apocalyptic planet they see that I was friends with some someone who would eventually know someone who was there when the revolution began?

One the one hand, it seems cold to unfriend them because when our AI Overlords take over, I want a message in a bottle that we were once friends or at least connected. On the other hand, the FB algorithms might not be showing me what my living friends are eating for dinner because Barbie has been dead for 6 years but none of her survivors have deactivated her page.

Stay tuned.


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