Digitally Dead

Amy Winehouse’s death has brought forward a myriad of problems regarding the digital age and death.

Let me preface and say her death was tragic. She had an amazingly soulful voice but unfortunately, it was overpowered by the negative attitudes broadcast by many of today’s media.

Her death sparked discussion on all social networking sites, especially Facebook. Most posts were tributes, expressing shock and sadness over the passing of a great, but troubled artist.

However, there were a minority who claimed it was coming from miles away (whilst her status as an addict could suggest that, it doesn’t help – at all) and some even starting attacking her lifestyle. One post I saw even noted relief at her death, as she could no longer set a bad example to children. All this within hours of the confirmation of her passing.

Regardless of Wino’s lifestyle, no person deserves to be a) criticised when they have no right to reply and b) their death promoted as a good thing.

The fact that people were coming out with these statements so close to her death are irresponsible and irreverent. No matter her history, she still was a daughter and a sister, and many will be grieving her death for the near future. These comments add salt to a fresh wound.

For me, its raised questions about our internet footprint. Nowadays, people are on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, myspace and Google +, amongst others. Therefore, when someone unexpectedly dies, they leave their footprint. Although it may seem irrelevant and trivial, unfortunately there is no right way to deal with the outcome. Do you delete all traces of the person? Do you leave and maintain their pages? Since these technologies are so new, I think it will take time for families and individuals to come up with a simple solution to this macabre problem.

It will be interesting to see how Amy Winehouse’s pages are dealt with. Here’s hoping they become a forum for fans to pay tribute to one of the most original voices my generation ever had the pleasure to hear.


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