What Facebook Will Say About Us


People who live on Facebook will die on Facebook.

There will be more profiles on social media of people who have died than there will be of people who are alive fifty years from now, and social media will be the repository of humanities collective memories.

What will future historians and sociologists think of us?

"What's Game of Thrones?," asks Rice University anthropologist Dr. Dominic Boyer with an insightful laugh, imitating his future self. "They seemed really obsessed about it."

They might see us as people obsessed with puppies, cats, kittens, dogs and endless displays of human shortcomings. And yes, Iron Thrones.

The study of Facebook's future was published by Oxford Internet Institute, the first major study of dead user profiles. As Europe tightens the grip on privacy issues surrounding social media and the U.S. begins the conversation it can be questioned if the accumulation of human experience cataloged will be available to academicians. "On the one hand there's this tremendous potential archive of humanity and its forms of communication but I don't think there's a guarantee that we're going to look at that down the road," suggests Dr. Boyer.

To suppose so suggests Facebook's monopoly will survive the next five decades unabated.


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