Digital Death: Mortality and Beyond in the Online Age

Front Cover
Christopher M. Moreman, A. David Lewis
Praeger, 2014 - Social Science - 265 pages

This fascinating work explores the meaning of death in the digital age, showing readers the new ways digital technology allows humans to approach, prepare for, and handle their ultimate destiny.

With DeadSocial(tm) one can create messages to be published to social networks after death. Facebook's "If I Die" enables users to create a video or text message for posthumous publication. Twitter _LIVESON accounts will keep tweeting even after the user is gone. There is no doubt that the digital age has radically changed options related to death, dying, grieving, and remembering, allowing people to say goodbye in their own time and their own unique way.

Drawing from a range of academic perspectives, this book is the only serious study to focus on the ways in which death, dying, and memorialization appear in and are influenced by digital technology. The work investigates phenomena, devices, and audiences as they affect mortality, remembrances, grieving, posthumous existence, and afterlife experience. It examines the markets to which the providers of such services are responding, and it analyzes the degree to which digital media is changing views and expectations related to death. Ultimately, the contributors seek to answer an even more important question: how digital existences affect both real-world perceptions of life's end and the way in which lives are actually lived.

* Explains how new technologies and online accessibility are changing human attitudes to death and dying--and impacting the ways in which people live

* Explores the afterlife experience as it can play out in a variety of digital media, including Facebook and other social media, World of Warcraft and video games, YouTube and other video services, and Internet memorials

* Analyzes the myriad ways encounters with death and dying and the capacity for mourning are mediated by new technologies

* Places death and dying in the digital age in historical perspective, showing how beliefs about and approaches to death and dying have changed constantly over time

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About the author (2014)

Christopher M. Moreman, PhD, is associate professor in philosophy at California State University, East Bay, with expertise in comparative religion, death and dying, and religious and paranormal experience.

A. David Lewis, PhD, is adjunct assistant professor at several colleges across the greater Boston area and is a steering committee member of the America Academy of Religion's Death, Dying, and Beyond program unit.

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