129: Digital Footprints

Digital Footprints

"I decided I needed to see what my fellow classmates were saying about this tragedy, so I went snooping around the usual internet haunts. Not finding much (the news was still fresh), I Googled Mark's name and stumbled upon an online profile of his. He was, apparently, a frequent MMOG player, partaking in World of Warcraft and several others, not to mention his high frag ratio for Counter-Strike and others like it. It was a whole side of him I hadn't known or seen."

Tom Rhodes explores the digital life as epitaph, and a window to an unlived life.

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I remember reading this the first time it was published and it still has a powerful effect on me. It's strange to see how technology affects even the most basic of instincts like mourning. Thanks for the insight Tom.

This was one of the most beautiful and thought provoking things I've ever read on the internet.

Great article.

A girl at my college died just before Thanksgiving this last November. We're a small school and she was a popular snr so her death was felt very strongly. Not a tone of people but lots have gone to her facebook and posted messages to her. its odd to read them, just like this article said, as if she's coming back to read them. We were actually encouraged at her memorial to go and post messages of love, hope and encouragement.

Thank you for all your kind words.

anable and Keelystar: I think that one of the things that technology can do, which is so often viewed as cold and indifferent, is allow us to express our mourning in a way that talking to just a picture or to the sky (as I mentioned in the story) can't. In part because the person we've lost seems right there, and also that others, just above and below our comments, are mourning with us.

Falsey: I feel honored to have that distinction for you.

Also something I noticed was that, ever since The Escapist put up the forums rather than just publishing letters to the editor, very rarely do I get e-mails from people. For this repost, I received about a half dozen who wanted to convey their personal thoughts on it. I think that means I found a place we've all been, and am glad to have shared it with you all.

2 years after the end of high school, a guy who was in my group of high school friends killed himself one day by covering up the windows in his garage with sheets and hanged himself. The next year another guy in my group of high school friends waited until midnight and then drove his car in front of an oncoming train.

Very absorbing read, this really made me think about, how people who are close to him and how they felt. It is almost as people praying to God for forgiveness and eternal happiness in a funeral and that leaving posts and messages is a new twist on that concept. Instead of perhaps going to the graveyard and leaving flowers, moment of silence, rekindle old memories. Leaving messages is perhaps has the same effect of mourning.

Thanks for sharing this hart warming story, made me think about my past.

This is a beautiful article.


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