Almost ubiquitous hardware technology, such as smart phones, ensures that social networking sites are part of users’ everyday norms and routines. However, some are now using these new communication technologies to deal with the issues of death, dying and grief. With the hope of being able to create digital memories to leave behind for future generations, the opportunity to “live on” and become digitally immortal is seen as empowering to some: but what about those left behind? Through a review of the current literature exploring how social media are being used as a new space to grieve and mourn, this paper contributes to the literature by arguing for the need for clarity in the lexicon being used by thanatologists and other disciplines. Furthermore, it introduces the term “digital zombie” to describe the dead who remain “alive” in our digital society. The paper concludes by joining the call for further research into the nascent phenomena being generated by human-computer interaction.
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