“What is Death in the Digital Age?” – a reflection

The blog posts were one of my favorite things that the class had to offer. I believe that having a medium to express ourselves through is highly conducive   to a better understanding of the material. I found that questions that came up in posts were either addressed in class discussion or in a simple conversation between the members of my table. I enjoyed skimming through the posts before class to see what others had to say. The benefit of these blogposts is that they allow us to see the mental diversity that we have in the class. We all have different interpretations of the reading, of a metaphor, or any symbolism present in the course materials, and the blogposts melted these together into a pot.

Looking back of my previous posts, I saw that asking questions were a very prominent part of my overall reading analysis. On a regular basis I ask myself questions after reading any piece so that I’m sure that I’ve gotten the best understanding possible. However, through my posts i saw this tendency manifests itself in every single post. There is no blog post where I did not ask question about the reading, or its implication in other situations.

I also saw that I often questioned the reading at hand, in explicit or implicit ways. You can look at Enter the Grief Moderators, Not the Grief Police to see my specific criticism of online grieving. In Tourism from the Perspective of a Developing-Country Native I challenged the viewpoint that all tourism is bad. These are just a few of the critical examples found in my blogposts. I see this trend as an active representation of how much this class challenged me to think for myself. I entered the class not knowing what to expect, and I feel like I came out of it truly knowing what Death in the Digital Age looks like.

I do not think the structure of my blog posts changed as time went on. The questions, the critiques, and some type of format remained the same. What did change, was the style that I chose to write in. When writing about Black Mirror, my writing style was more laid back and open as opposed to my somber posts concerning “A Head Full of Ghosts.” Whenever we were discussing real life events, I tended to be more serious and less hypothetical. If we were discussing fiction novels, or tv shows, I was less serious and more open to asking more risqué questions.

One final theme that I noticed among my posts was the presence of ethics. It began with me questioning the ethics of replicating someone’s life form so that they would still be alive, such as in Black Mirror. “What if Ash, while living, has heard of the program yet had asked Martha to not do it? How can we determine what the dead would like to have done? I see the ethical dilemma arise from the fact that someone may not wish to be “rebirthed”, yet a grieving family member may go against these wishes. Does a person still have rights to their identity and digital footprint after they have passed? ” These questions were asked in my first blog post. Ethics once again came up when discussing Facebook’s “Remembering” feature. Here I questioned the possibility of someone’s social media profiles being taken over, even if they have explicitly stated that they did not want that to happen. I personally highly value ethical behavior, and think about it context of the society that we live in. This class allowed for me to explore the concept in a new arena.