Online Mourning and the Unexpected Refuge of Facebook

digital afterlife-header

Alone, I sobbed. Yet I sobbed with Facebook open—his life revealed and exposed in bits on my screen, his friends spilling tears on his profile. I sobbed at home, by myself, but also with everyone else.

Notes on Alternate Timelines and the Stories That Facebook Doesn’t Share

abstract explosion-rounded

But I’m not interested here in distinguishing what was what in my own timeline. Instead, I’m fascinated by how Facebook Timeline encourages us to map it out for all to see: A visualization of the haphazardness of the cosmos. A digital record of life choices we’ve made.

On Eternal Sunshine, Erasing Memories, and Facebook Timeline

blurry lights

But my curation of my own history—the deleting of previous status updates, the “featuring” of particular posts—is strange. More so than before, I am able to highlight what is important in my life—or what I want others to view as important—and fill in missing details from today to when I was born.

Notes on Virtual Life, Part VI: Facebook Status Updates (And What I Could Have Said)

facebook graffiti

It’s strange and fascinating, this Facebook. It’s as if we must be artful and precise in our use—when life can be hard to document.

Notes on Virtual Life, Part II: Facebook, Twitter & the Seeds of Compartmentalization

Barcelona, Spain

It comes down to compartmentalization. I find myself filing my friendships and relationships, online and off, into tidy drawers. Yet as I do this, gingerly and methodically, “friendship” becomes more elusive as “real” and “virtual” continues to collide.