Leaving a Legacy While Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

Dawn143Starred Page By Dawn143, 13th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/100ux4yn/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Media

"She did what? He said, oh my! Such a shame!" Gossip mongers have a field day--as those who want reconciliation--to feel close to those loved ones passed risk airing out dirty laundry in their search for some way of dealing with grief. Remember them as they were, or find out who they really were? Is there a happy medium? How far is too far?

Falling Victim to Curious George's Fanaticism

Scrolling down the various names in our long Facebook friends' list, we alight on a familiar name of a person we haven't seen or chatted with in "like forever!" As we give in to the urge to click on the link to their profile page a giddy feeling washes over us at the thought of reconnecting with an old friend. Instead of seeing recent posts we see the words In loving memory of and then our friend's name, maybe next to their picture or some comforting words to remind us of who they were. Experiencing some shock, we shake off the regrets of not contacting them sooner, the hopeless feelings of loss (in degrees of how well we knew them), and view some sweetly nostalgic photos posted to our passed friend's now Facebook memorial page.

Because of a recent tool offered by Facebook, there is a way to keep memories, bits and pieces of our loved ones alive in the social media. And through it--that need for longevity--for a kind of immortality that the world over humans have yearned for, can be realized. But is it really good to linger in the past? Shouldn't we move on and let go? Are we falling deeper into our grief by affording ourselves the option to type in our user name and password, click a hyperlink and see posts and pictures of our deceased loved ones? Or could it be that this is an opportunity that allows us simply to say to all our family and friends, "let us not forget how precious this life is." How far is too far? Facebook, Google, Yahoo and the lobbying organization NetChoice are trying to pinpoint the rather blurred line between the rights of the dead, and the rights of the living.

Treading on Thinly Formed Ice (Burdens and Boundaries)

Innately--human beings seem to be explorers by nature, discoverers, we seek answers and sometimes make up our own to stave off those niggling little demons that haunt us with the "whys, whats, hows, when, whos." Providing a moment of clarity for family and friends, Facebook is making an effort to bring transparency to the "need-to-know" characteristics or rather dispositions that are inherent to our nature. Users can select a legacy contact, to display--carry on the message of who they (the passed) were to the world. I ask myself: "how would I feel if that kind of responsibility was placed on my shoulders?" And the answer is--I'm not sure.

A sensitive topic indeed, while some family members can get closure in the grieving process by visiting a memorial, looking at pictures and the like, others may find it difficult to get beyond the grief--having a constant reminder of what they lost. Even greater still begs the question, "should the surviving members of the deceased (or in this case the legacy contact) be given access to 'everything' that belonged to their loved one?" With the calls for privacy rights to be honored, battling against the government's ruling to utilize safety precautions at the cost of our rights to privacy, privacy in general is a touchy subject. And then when we toss in grieving family members experiencing riotous emotions, this could be a tale spun towards disaster. So what can we do, what has Facebook and other companies proposed or implemented to remedy the situation?

What We Want, May Not Always Be Best

Tackling the intrusive nature of allowing access to all our private files, emails, messages, basically anything that contains reputation-ruining or life-shaking information, Facebook and more specifically Google has tried to put in place barriers. Google allows users to apply certain preferences, such as allowing for a loved one to access our photos(in event of our death)but denying access to personal emails.

Facebook only permits legacy contacts to access photos and public posts, as well as make some updates if inclined to. Private messages are not accessible. Could it be this new tool is in direct response to a myriad of states striving to allow for the survivors of the deceased to gain accessibility to digital files? Whether it's an attempt to respond to a few recent legislature calls--or not--the message is the same--cherish the memories--and as an add-in--sometimes knowing everything is not always a good thing. This I find slightly ironic because admittedly while we may not have access to all our loved ones information, Facebook, Google and others do. (It's kind of a catch 22.)

Are we soon going to go too far? Will privacy laws be stringent on how someone feels in order to enforce them? Will they depend on the mindset of a certain group of people?What I find most interesting out of all of this, is how far we have gone to challenge the idea that black and white are colors or shades that are no longer represented so emphatically in the way we go about things. Every scenario is different, we feel the need to define lines then struggle when they are put in place. Eventually something's got a give, will it be our right to privacy in all aspects of life? Or will it be an extensive effort to improve safety, and respect of humanity by improving people, rather than policy?

This Curious George has an insatiable need to know the answer.





Facebook, Legacy Contact, Living Will, Privacy, Social Network

Meet the author

author avatar Dawn143
My real passion is writing poetry, but I also have begun to dabble in writing a children's story and a fictional novel. I also like finding fun facts about animals, I enjoy researching similar areas.

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author avatar Shamarie
14th Feb 2015 (#)

Outstanding post, Dawn, and congrats on the star page!!! Well deserved!!!

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author avatar Dawn143
16th Feb 2015 (#)

@Shamarie Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed my page, I was so surprised! I didn't even know I had a star badge until you acknowledged it. What a pleasure!

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author avatar Kingwell
21st Feb 2015 (#)

An excellent and thought provoking article. It is hard to let go but those left behind must continue living in this world. There is such a thing as going too far. Blessings.

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