A nice bit of Facebook horror appeared on the Reddit NoSleep board. It has the appropriately long title of "My dead girlfriend keeps messaging me on Facebook. I’ve got the screenshots. I don’t know what to do."
The story poses itself as a cry for help from a young man increasingly scared of Facebook content seemingly coming from his dead girlfriend. Formally, it's a sequence of paragraphs arranged in chronological order, each linked to a screen capture of some creepy bit of Facebook activity. The narrator sets up each graphic, then reacts to it.
For example, here is one of the early exchanges. "Nathan" is the story's narrator, the boyfriend; "Emily" is the supposedly dead girlfriend:
Note the anonymizing features, which add a documentary feel to the story. And note, too, the final open text box, which gives an extra sense of ongoing conversation.
Later the exchanges become more like a ghost story. For example, this screenshot shows Emily complaining about temperatures - of the grace, most likely:
This has given me nightmares that have only started to kick in recently. I keep dreaming that she’s in an ice cold car, frozen blue and grey, and I’m standing outside in the warmth screaming at her to open the door. She doesn’t even realise I’m there. Sometimes her legs are outside with me.
The short text takes pains to set up the reality of the situation:
I had left Emily’s Facebook account activated so I could send her the occasional message, post on her wall, go through her albums. It felt too final (and too un-Emily) to memorialise it. I ‘share’ access with her mother (Susan) - meaning, her mother has her login and password and has spent a total of approximately three minutes on the website (or on a computer, total). After a little confusion, I assumed it was her...
November 16th, 2013. I had received confirmation from Susan that she hadn’t logged in to Em’s Facebook since the week of her death. Em knew a lot of people, so I instantly assumed this was one of her more tech savvy ‘friends’ fucking with me in the worst possible way....
Before anyone asks, yes, I had changed the password and all security info countless times.
There are also several instances where the story uses Facebook features, such as tagging someone else in a photo.
In terms of social media storytelling, "My dead girlfriend" takes advantage of Reddit's easy of publication, while using Facebook's ubiquity and features for effect. The story also elicited a stream of comments, which amplify the document's documentary ambitions.
All in all, a nice, short example of social media storytelling and of creepy digital culture.
PS: are any other Infocult readers familiar with Reddit's Nosleep board?
(thanks to Justin Beckham!)