Jul 27, 2010

Death in the Modern World

Death is something much different for me than it was for my parents at my age. It's because the internet makes us manage our friendships differently now.  Its easier to keep in contact with more people, and easier to hear about everything thats happening in their lives. I've heard stories where, in the past, people would learn that their old friends had died - often in things like highschool reunions and chitchat when they ran into people they remembered. I can't even imagine this happening today. These days it seems like with anyone you've known, you learn about their death about as soon as their close loved ones do.

To my parents, it seems as if bad things are always happening to my friends. They're always astounded how many have caught some terrible disease, are in trouble, or have recently died. While they probably attribute it to bad luck, I know it's more the fact my network extends farther than they can imagine. They've never been aware of the social web.

I don't know what this means for death and mourning. Does more exposure to it mean that it will feel like less of a big deal?  Am I less likely to go far out of my way to mourn someone who wasn't a close friend or relative? Or maybe the enormity of it will that much more evident.