Gone are the days when we would stalk around the countless stalls of vendors selling greeting cards on New Year, Eid and Valentines. No longer do we look around for fancy writing pads to write letters to our loved ones. The only cards we receive these days are wedding invitations! That too changed recently when a first cousin of mine sent us a text via SMS inviting us for his wedding. So with this age old form of communication out, what are we doing to stay connected and share our happiness and success and even the downs of life with our near and dear ones. FACEBOOK! Yes, we do a lot of our communication through FB.
I have to be honest in saying that I have to; absolutely have to check my FB at least once a day. Just to see how everyone else is doing. It gives me the opportunity to congratulate my friends on their success and at the same time provide them some sympathy and support in times of distress. So if it’s a new job, a new kid, a new vacation, a new home, a stressing boss…FB tells it all.
The most interesting tool and edge that FB has is defiantly the sharing of photo albums. There are many other websites too through which you can share photo albums but nothing beats FB!
However, one must not forget too much of anything is also not good, even on FB. And this brings me to my main point of discussion.
On a cold December morning I logged into FB wondering what exciting things have happened over the last 12 hours, since I last logged in. One of my close friends posted a comment that his nephew had passed away. A beautiful boy not more than ten years of age and he was requesting us on FB to recite verses from the Holy Quran on his death. This is normal ritual with Muslims to recite holy verses, but what shocked my soul was that along with his comment he had uploaded a picture of the boy just before his burial!
Muslim burial rites require the body to perform the ghusal (last ritual bath before burial) and then the body to be wrapped in plain white cloth before it is lowered in the grave. The boy’s picture was taken after his ghusal and was just ready for burial.
Along with this picture there were pictures of the boy when he was alive. I had not personally known the boy but for a long, long time I just sat staring at the screen simply going from picture to picture. I was comparing the boy’s salmon pink lips to the pale purple lips in death. His eye lashes were so long and bushy. His eyes had an amazing sparkle, which could no longer be seen in his death. His skin was now a pale color. The broad ear to ear smile had vanished into a silent still face. It was one of the most painful experiences I have had to endure.
It is not the portrayal of death that I protest against but the manner in which the pictures are put up on a social networking site! Is this the correct moral thing to do? How many of us would actually put up pictures of loved ones when they are on the last leg of their journey in this lifetime?
Human nature is such that we need constant support and encouragement not only in good times but we especially need it during our difficult times. But must the need for empathy be so graphical? Where do the boundaries for sharing pictures stop?
For original link please click here http://www.bonfriends.org/2011/01/27/facebook-moral-limits-photo-sharing/