The social media platform Facebook has a problem, and it is not just about the privacy measures or safety of users. According to calculations made by scientists, in a couple of decades the number of dead Facebook users will be greater than the number of living ones.
After a the passing of a close one, modern people have another thing to take into account, in addition to funeral planning and all kinds of paperwork: What to do with the remaining social media account?
In times when social media and all the communication happening in this domain are becoming a more and more significant part of our lives, expressing grief, as well as the topic of death in general, has become a much more usual thing to encounter while visiting social media portals. Annika Maksimov, who studied journalism and communication at the University of Tartu, wrote her bachelor’s thesis about grieving on Facebook.
During her research, she conducted interviews with Facebook users who had lost their friends, and following that, expressed their grief on communication portals by themselves, or had seen others do so.
Because of the sensitive nature of the topic, Maksimov picked the people to interview from the circle of her personal acquaintances.
“A warm and trusting relationship with people making up the sample helps to decrease the risk of my study causing them some emotional or mental damage,” she explained.