The Atlantic

The Elegant Way Online Social Networks 'Heal' After a Death

Friends of the deceased person start interacting more after a loss, and stay in touch for years afterward.
Source: rolfo / Getty

Just as life, for many, now takes place both online and in the physical world, so too does death. Social media has brought back the kind of public grieving often seen in ancient Greece—open performances of sadness that bring people together for communal mourning. And a new study shows that the connections made online after a loss can last for years to come.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, Will Hobbs and Moira Burke looked at data from more than 15,000 Facebook networks of people who died (the profiles were de-identified), and a control group of more than 30,000

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