The deceased live on LinkedIn

In the relatively young landscape of social media, one awkward area has to do with the accounts of the deceased on LinkedIn.

I now have 2 friends on LinkedIn who have died unexpectedly young. Both are still active on LinkedIn, and show up as still working at their last job. I dread the day that I am prompted to Congratulate one of them on their n-year anniversary at their ‘current’ employer. As time goes on, the number of dead on social networks will inevitably grow. And grow.

There’s a part of me that rejoices in seeing my friends’ names again, having a way to visit their pages and feel the idle connection come alive. But on the heels of that feeling comes the inevitable knife-in-the-gut, the remembrance of the loss: a cruel, insensitive reminder.

LinkedIn provides a way for members to report accounts of the deceased to initiate account shutdown. Generally, I would hope that a family member would get to make this decision, and not a colleague.

These accounts are living epitaphs. Miss you guys.

Valerie Lanard

Valerie Lanard

I am a fitness buff, engineering leader, and wearables lover. This blog originally started as part of my now-defunct fitness video startup, Gigabody. It has evolved to encompass my writing on tech and work culture as well. Find me on a bike, on a hike, in a skort, or near a usb port.

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