And friends one by one died like a fallen soldier.
No, it is not happening to the two LGBTQI friends of mine. They just passed away in two separate parts of the world. In fact, no one knew the end of their existence. Their deaths are heard through the wind of rumours. The wind is blowing through Facebook posts, status and messenger.
No one came forward, made a call, gave a visit. Their friends never checked them out if they were okay. They only assumed that you were fine by regular likes, and occasional one-liner responds on Facebook. While behind the walls of their house, they were battling terminal illness alone. Unknown to any one of us what they were facing. Unmirroring glamourous holiday lives of Facebook and Instagram, their pains were silence of endless agonies. A few days have gone by since their death.
Then tributes are paid on a Facebook status. Their deaths have become digital. We didn't see bodies for the last time. We didn't pay a visit to their funeral. We didn't see a coffin brought down to the eternal void. We didn't see it buried or cremated. We didn't touch the tomb standing on fresh dug soil. We didn't carry a pot of their ashes. We didn't shed tears and shared their memorials in the house.
But this is what we are all doing; we are sharing social media status, making comments on how we missed them, expressing our deep condolences on an Instagram post of black and white typos, and making more comments on every status a friend posted. We have been living and relying on a social media giant and let it control us to the extends of our humane existence.
It’s not the thought of facing death alone that I fear. It is the fact that your friends rely on the digital bubble of Facebook to find out whether you still exist or not. So when there was a time you said, enough of Facebook and Instagram — all of it — you pulled off the plug and OUT. Suddenly you’re brutally disconnected from everything you nurtured. None of the emails coming to you. None of the phone calls. None of the visits. Is it the irony of the twenty-first century? Is it the irony of the social media era?
Since I pulled off the social media plug many years ago, I just made a deal with a friend. He is the only closest one who checked me out beyond social media circus. When I die, I summon him not post any single status and Instagram typos ads of my death. Please do not pay tribute on a Facebook and Instagram post. Please do not send a message on Facebook messager and Instagram DMs.
My death isn't an ad’s target for life insurance, funeral packages, and local florist shops. My life stories aren't to be documented on social media in any forms. Just carry my ashes, bring it somewhere we both called it home.