Why Online Memorials Are Better Than Facebook

8 October 2019 • Online Memorials

5 reasons Online Memorials are better than Facebook

Our lives have become integrated with the internet for better or for worse. That is simply the culture in which we live in today. We don’t know whether social media is just a fad during this century’s Information Age, or if it is now a permanent artifact of our civilization like books and laws. What we do know is that life and death can be as real in the digital world as they are in physical reality.

What makes humans unique compared to other animals is that we’ve developed intricate traditions on how we commemorate those who’ve passed away. Go to any city in the world and you’ll see giant murals honouring people. In Irish tradition, family and friends tell stories about their dearly departed during the wake. In New Orleans, a marching band plays upbeat music during a funeral procession and relatives dance to celebrate their loved one’s life.

It is no different online. One of the most popular ways to memorialize loved ones is by creating Facebook tribute pages. It’s not surprising since it’s free and it’s easy to connect family and close friends. However, social media platforms like Facebook have their downsides, and it’s important to be aware of them before using this as a platform to memorialize your loved ones.

Let’s look at five reasons why creating online memorials on a platform like Memories™ is better than using Facebook pages.

Facebook Memorials

1. Privacy

First, let’s look at the ways you can memorialise loved ones on Facebook. The first way is to send a request to Facebook to memorialize a certain profile. Family and friends of the departed can do so. The other way is by assigning a legacy contact, who is officially given the privilege to memorialize your account and act as an administrator when you pass away. Another way is to make an independent Facebook page as an unofficial tribute page for the departed. The latter can be done by anyone, including those who are not friends with the person who passed away.

Although you could make a Facebook page private, or a closed group, this doesn’t address the fact that anyone can create a tribute page. In fact, a complete stranger creating a private Facebook group page about your loved one would be a nightmare. The freedom of the internet is a beautiful thing until people abuse their democratic privileges to step on your privacy, and your own privileges.

Likewise, even a private memorialized account on Facebook is not immune from trolls. Remember that some of the “friends” your loved one has added when they were alive might not be close friends. I myself am guilty of adding people I’ve met once or twice just because we bonded together at a company camping trip. However, they’re not someone I know well like a best friend or close relative. When you memorialize a profile, these “friends” will have access to your loved one’s page, and will be able to post comments on what Facebook calls legacy content.

A memorial page with a platform like Memories™ is a much safer option and more private. Memories™ allows an administrator to set the privacy settings according to their needs. This brings us to the next reason.

Data Privacy 

2. Controlling the Content and Moderating

Using a dedicated, private memorial page on Memories™ gives the account administrator greater control over content versus Facebook pages or memorialized accounts. Additionally, with an online memorial page on Memories™, moderating comments is not stressful. Because an online memorial webpage is more private than social media, despicable troll comments are less likely to occur.

Think of it like the difference between a public city cemetery and a private, gated one. In the former, tombstones can be defaced by any member of the public and passers-by can loiter about. In a private cemetery or a family property, there is better security and monitoring.

Another thing to keep in mind is that setting up legacy contacts on Facebook is a feature that is often overlooked. Personally, I’ve set one up because I was working as a war correspondent at the time. But for the majority of Facebook users, thinking about such matters is the last thing on their mind when cruising through social media. Therefore, if you don’t set up a legacy contact, then any family member or friend can request to have your profile memorialized. As we’ve stated earlier, this could lead to some privacy and control issues.

3. Layout and Design

Let’s face it, Facebook, more or less, still has the same layout that it did during its inception. Its aesthetics is very 2000s and navigating through it can be exhausting. It has too many features, some of which are not often-used or are not understood. Photos, videos, text, and other media are scattered about on Facebook and other similar social media platforms.

On a dedicated memorial page, like the ones offered on Memories™, the layout is minimalist and clean. It is more similar to a professional blog or website than a social media page. The various different media are partitioned and organized very well, making it easy for visitors to navigate through. Also, an online memorial page is more streamlined, so that it feels like you’re viewing a documentary film or photo essay on your loved one’s beautiful life.


4. Painful Reminders

One of the issues with Facebook’s memorialized profiles is that it could still send inappropriate automated reminders. In one example, a husband, whose wife, unfortunately, passed away, was still receiving painful birthday reminders and timeline milestones.

An online memorial is an actual webpage that functions differently than a social media platform. It is unfair to blame Facebook engineers for these technical issues because Facebook is catered towards the living and not those who have passed away. So, there will be awkward overlaps among the technical functions when a profile becomes memorialized. A dedicated online memorial makes sure that you won’t have to deal with these problems.

5. Longevity

We’re not sure how long Facebook will last. If there’s one thing that’s consistent in Silicon Valley, it’s the fact that companies are always changing. From mergers & acquisitions to bankruptcies, the tech industry has fluidity embedded in its DNA. Sure, giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon seem immortal, but so did Texaco—which was founded in 1901 as a major oil and gas company—until it went bankrupt and was forced to merge with Chevron Corporation in 2002.

The precious memorial page of your loved ones on Facebook and other social media platforms are built on soft ground. Although legacy contacts have the ability to download a memorialised account’s data, trying to recreate a memorial page from scratch would be time-consuming and emotionally draining. A memorial page hosted on a well-established website like Memories™ is a safer bet. You want to make sure that the online memorial immortalising your loved one is also immortal.

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