The boy from “The Sixth Sense” movie says “I see Dead people”. Well, pretty soon, the same can be said about Facebook.
A recent study from the Oxford Internet Institute shows that the number of Facebook profiles of deceased people might surpass the profiles of living people in 51 years.
The researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute, a department of the prestigious Oxford University, did an imagination exercise and they created a scenario in which Facebook will no longer get new users. In this case, at least 1.4 billion Facebook users will be dead by the year 2100 and 2070 will be the year in which the number of dead people on Facebook will surpass the living.
In the second scenario, the Facebook user base continues to grow by 13% each year. So, there will be 4.9 billion deceased people on Facebook by 2100. In the study, the researchers say that the true number of dead people on Facebook will be somewhere between the two scenarios.
What Facebook is doing for the deceased
The study was also done using the United Nations database regarding mortality on ages and countries and on information about Facebook users to create two evolution scenarios.
Facebook has recently launched a few updates for the active accounts of deceased people. Such accounts will be able to stay on untouched. This program is part of social media companies efforts to counteract this problem.
There is a fine line between respecting the rights of a person and letting family and friends deal with the affairs of the deceased ( such as shutting down the Facebook account or paying bills ). Also, there might be some painful things such as the suggestions of wishing “Happy Birthday” to someone who is no longer with us.
In any case, Facebook should really think about this aspect and about what’s to be done in these scenarios. The ugly truth is that the clock is ticking and, like it or not, people will die.