It’s been a couple of years since I last logged-on to my Facebook account before deciding it should be deleted once and for all. Before that, Facebook transformed my social connectivity with friends and family and sadly became the alternate way to fill the void when I had nothing else to do with my precious time – time is money. Appreciation groups and fan pages were the reasons my profile even had sections to describe my favourite colour, lunchtime brunch or music taste. Though not for long. Before Facebook evolved into a public-sharing-profit-making-cyber-spying government fish-net gathering as many acquisitions like Instagram and Whatsapp, ‘status updates’ was the pulsing sign of decreasing popularity for this large social network.
But, in recent years death has been a recurring theme on Facebook for people signing out, in sadly, the most compelling way. Alas, this has happened more times than one would expect in all of social media – a place of loose key strokes and light-hearted exchange – Facebook was far from pensive. Until weeks ago, headlining in the national press was the unfortunate death of 19-year-old, Dylan Owens who was injected with a fatal dose of heroin before his friends posted photos of his mortality online.
Chillingly, these instances legitimise Facebook as more than just a social platform. Setting up an account is somewhat emblematic of birth as is emphasised in the ‘timeline’ profile, and just as likely, terminating an account is a calculated risk for which there’s already a system. But, losing a person to the unfortunate play of drug use and heroin injection for social media to watch is compelling for the next generation to start and end life on social media.