[Air-L] Introducing myself

Mariana Matos marianasantiagodematos at gmail.com
Fri Jul 3 08:20:53 PDT 2009

Hello there!

I've been on the list for almost 2 months, but, until now, I've just read what people were writing. And I must say there are many interesting topics being discussed! However, I'd like to introduce myself and share with you all information about my research subject.

I'm a psychologist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a PhD student at PUC-Rio (the Catholic University). I'm part of a group of researchers who have been studying the psychological and social impacts of the use of technology such as the Internet, cell phones, games, and some others. The group is leaded by Professor Ana Maria Nicolaci-da-Costa, who's been researching on this subject since the very beggining of the use of Internet in Brazil. 

My research in on the habit of writing scraps, on Orkut (the most popular social network site in Brazil), to people who died and left their profiles active. As you should know, if someone dies, the profile may still be active, what happens if no one deletes it or asks the site to delete it. I've been observing that a substantial number of dead people's profile receive a great amount of messages, writen often by close friends and family. In these messages, they "talk" about their feelings, tell the dead about their quotidian (i.e. what they did in the weekend), talk about their memories etc.

I have the impression that this is a brazilian phenomenon, and I'd like to ask you if you see something similar in your countries, even if people use other SNS, like Facebook or any other. Do you know people who died and let their profiles? Do you know if they still receive messages, even if more than one year have passed since the death?

Best regards,

Mariana Matos-Silva
PhD Student
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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