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As the dividing line between our online and offline lives continues to fade, more and more of what happens in the “real” world is also seeping into the online world — and that includes death. So how should we deal with it when our friends or loved ones die? I started thinking about this recently when I decided to live-tweet a friend’s funeral (something that many people felt was inappropriate), and it was reinforced for me when I saw the same friend’s face pop up in my Facebook chat list, and even saw updates in my stream from his page. What is the appropriate response when this happens? Is it a sign of how creepy social networks can be in such situations, or is it just part of what living our lives online means now?

I confess that when I first saw my friend Michael’s face appear in my chat…

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