Advertisement

Digital Eternities

  • Fanny Georges
  • Virginie Julliard
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors wish to study the transformation of online profiles created during a user’s lifetime into the profile of a deceased person. To this end, they first focus on the possibilities available to the bereaved to maintain the deceased’s profile and how they manage this. When these perpetuated profiles are taken in hand, they undergo changes (except in cases where the original pages are left intact so that those grieving can visit them without producing, modifying or removing signs). This phenomenon of transformation is what the authors have termed “profilopraxy,” whereby the deceased’s profile is changed so that it complies with the idea that the bereaved have of the person, and/or the affixment of death stigmas to make the profile recognizable as that of a dead person. As the most obvious way of affixing these stigmas involves announcing the death of the deceased, the authors analyze this announcement. They identify the enunciators who make the announcement, the places where it appears and the way it is formulated. On this basis, the authors show that the characteristics of social networking sites profoundly upset traditional hierarchies, since friends and family both intervene on the profile pages to affix death stigmas and shape them for posterity. As a result, the transformation of a living person’s profile into a dead person’s profile stems from a co-enunciation involving viewpoints that are not always similar. Tensions may even be expressed among the co-enunciators active on a profile. Moreover, some choose to use other spaces in which to produce a representation of the deceased, thus creating an image that better fits the one they wish to see handed down to posterity.

References

  1. Bell, Genevieve. 2006. No More SMS From Jesus: Ubicomp, Religion and Techno-Spiritual Practices. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4206: 141–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bonaccorsi, Julia, and Virginie Julliard. 2010. Dispositifs de communication numériques et médiation du politique. Le cas du site web d’Ideal-Eu. In Usages et enjeux des dispositifs de mediation, ed. Mona Aghababaie, Audrey Bonjour, Adeline Clerc, and Guillaume Rauscher, 65–78. Nancy: Presses Universitaires de Nancy.Google Scholar
  3. Brubaker, Jed R., and Gillian R. Hayes. 2011. We Will Never Forget You [Online]. An Empirical Investigation of Post mortem MySpace. In CSCW ‘2011 Proceedings of the ACM 2011 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Hangzhou, China, March 19–23, 2011, pp. 123–132.Google Scholar
  4. Douyère, David. 2011. La prière assistée par ordinateur. Médium 27: 140–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Duteil-Ogata, Fabienne. 2015. New Funeral Practices in Japan. From the Computer-Tomb to the Online Tomb. Online Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet 8: 11–27.Google Scholar
  6. Georges, Fanny. 2009. Identité numérique et représentation de soi. Analyse sémiotique et quantitative de l’emprise culturelle du web 2.0. Réseaux 154: 165–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. ———. 2013a. Le spiritisme en ligne. La communication numérique avec l’au-delà. Les cahiers du numérique 9 (3–4): 211–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ———. 2013b. Post-Mortem Digital Identities and New Memorial Uses of Facebook. The Identity of the Producer of a Memorial Page. Thanatos 3 (1): 82–93.Google Scholar
  9. Georges, Fanny, and Virginie Julliard. 2014. Aux frontières de l’identité numérique. Éléments pour une typologie des identités numériques post mortem. In Les frontières du numérique, ed. Imad Saleh, Naserddine Bouhaï, and Hakim Hachour, 20–36. Paris: L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2016. Quand le web inscrit le mort dans la temporalité des vivants. XXe Congrès de la SFSIC, Metz, France, June 8–10, 2016.Google Scholar
  11. Jeanneret, Yves. 2014. Critique de la trivialité. Les médiations de la communication, enjeux de pouvoir. Paris: Éditions Non Standard.Google Scholar
  12. Jonveaux, Isabelle. 2013. Dieu en ligne. Expériences et pratiques religieuses sur Internet. Paris: Bayard.Google Scholar
  13. Julliard, Virginie. 2015. Les apports de la techno-sémiotique à l’analyse des controverses sur Twitter. Hermès 73: 191–200.Google Scholar
  14. Kessler, David, and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. 2005. On Grief and Grieving. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  15. Odom, William, Richard Harper, Abigail Sellen, David Kirk, and Richard Banks. 2010. Passing on & Putting to Rest. Understanding Bereavement in the Context of Interactive Technologies. In CHI 2010. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Atlanta, April 10–15, 2010, 1831–1840.Google Scholar
  16. Pène, Sophie. 2011. Facebook mort ou vif. Deuils intimes et causes communes. Questions de communication 19: 91–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sconce, Jeffrey. 2000. Haunted Media: Electronic Presence From Telegraphy to Television. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Wrona, Adeline. 2011. La vie des morts: jesuismort.com, entre bibliographie et nécrologie. Questions de communication 19: 73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Paris 3 Sorbonne NouvelleParisFrance
  2. 2.University of Technology of CompiègneCompiègneFrance

Personalised recommendations