Death leaves online lives in limbo (AP)

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Dark Knight, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    NEW YORK - When Jerald Spangenberg collapsed and died in the middle of a quest in an online game, his daughter embarked on a quest of her own: to let her father's gaming friends know that he hadn't just decided to desert them.

    It wasn't easy, because she didn't have her father's "World of Warcraft" password and the game's publisher couldn't help her. Eventually, Melissa Allen

    Spangenberg reached her father's friends by asking around online for the "guild" he belonged to.
    One of them, Chuck Pagoria in Morgantown, Ky., heard about Spangenberg's death three weeks later. Pagoria had put his absence down to an argument among the gamers that night.

    "I figured he probably just needed some time to cool off," Pagoria said. "I was kind of extremely shocked and blown away when I heard the reason that he hadn't been back. Nobody had any way of finding this out."

    With online social networks becoming ever more important in our lives, they're also becoming an important element in our deaths. Spangenberg, who died suddenly from an abdominal aneurysm at 57, was unprepared, but others are leaving detailed instructions. There's even a tiny industry that has sprung up to help people wrap up their online contacts after their deaths.

    http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090316/ap_on_hi_te/tec_death_online
     
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  3. Blue_Dolphin308

    Blue_Dolphin308 We can't help everyone, But everyone can help some

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    Wow, that was very considerate of her!
     
  4. SeriouslySearching

    SeriouslySearching New Member

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    No need to worry about that around WS! I was gone for a couple of weeks and they went into high gear to find me. Hahahaha~ I have instructions now to leave a "note" with someone if I am going on vacation. ;)
     
  5. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    Very interesting article. Thanks DK as always for bringing us thought provoking posts and many times entertaining ones.

    The beginning of chat rooms, then social networking, gaming and other avenues that the internet offers us to connect with other human beings has rapidly become a part of the fabric of our human experience IMHO.

    Not so long ago, I remember thinking to myself---now who in the world would want to get on a computer and chat with strangers, ever?

    Although it's not very large part of my forms of communications that I use to connect with other people; I do use it.

    I can see very clearly how friendships can form between people that share a common interest.

    On Topic, I'm sure her father's friends were saddened to find that their friend had died, but I'm sure they share in his daughters grief because even though the friends had not met her father face to face they cared for him.
     
  6. SeriouslySearching

    SeriouslySearching New Member

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    There was a member here on WS named Leftcoast who I regularly pmed with discussing Jennifer Kesse. We were informed by his friend who came online to let us know he had passed away. I was deeply saddened and he is sorely missed. I sent him a "friend" request which will always be in limbo, but I know he is solving cases somewhere now. (He and his friend received much recognition on the work they did on the D.B. Cooper case.) RIP Leftcoast! You are never forgotten.
     
  7. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Active Member

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    I was an active member at another (political) forum at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One of our very active and respected posters was never heard from again.

    It was very sad - things went from "Has anyone noticed that ____ has not posted" to members combing through prior posts of his and determining that he most likely worked at the Pentagon to reading through the profiles of those killed at the Pentagon and coming up with a "most likely" decision.

    We debated attempting to contact his family because there was a wealth of his personality and his opinions on life and politics within his many posts. Then we decided not to do that - that his online life was just that, his online life.

    After about a month, we had a memorial thread to him. The sense of loss and grief is there even if you only knew someone online.
     
  8. Gracenote

    Gracenote We know that all things work together for good for

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    I have asked my sister to let my online support group know if I kick the bucket, but maybe I should make her a list of all my groups. We leave a permanant (more or less) record of ourselves online, and it stands as something of a memorial when we go. Makes me want to be nicer online :)

    Like the poster Tybee here who was before my time. Her loss is clearly felt by those who knew her at WS.
     

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