The digital Grim Reaper

On: December 18, 2008
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About Arno de Natris
Finished the Master in New Media in august 2009. See for mor details about me on


Isn’t it remarkable that a profile on a social network site is almost always linked to a person that exists in real life? Most profiles are related to someone, some group or something that is palpable. Of course, some people do have more than one profile, due to the wish of not linking private and work, or maybe due to a past one won’t be remembered to. But it seems that every profile relates on a fleshed body.

Is every profile a representation of flesh? At least one is not. The Grim Reaper is someone, or somebody, who, or that has a profile on a social network site. On Hyves, he’s called Magere Hein (the Dutch name of the personification of ‘death’) and his profile can be found on The Grim Reaper adds friends randomly. His invitation: ‘The Grim Reaper wants to be your friend. Would you like to be in a relation with after-life?’ In other words, if one accepts his invitation, one becomes friends with death. Or, at least, with death’s representation on a social network site.

Digital cemetery
Are you dying after accepting ‘death’ as your friend? Unfortunately, Magere Hein fails online. People who see ‘Grimmy’, should die. That’s the story. Profiles that see the Grim Reaper, should die too. If one accepts the 2.0 Grim Reaper, one should demolish his or her profile. Should… Death is dead, long live death?

On the other hand, what happens with profiles of existing people who actually have died? I couldn’t find one. I don’t mean fan groups or profiles made by others in this sence. All my friends are alive at this moment of writing and profiles don’t have ‘alive/dead’ boxes. Most likely, these profiles will be deleted. I hope my profile won’t. It would be a great digital obituary.

The Grimmy Project just started a week ago. Let’s see what will happen in the next months, years, centuries.

Question to think about: Inviting the Grim Reaper to be your friend, is that suicide? And now for the happiness: Enjoy Christmas and have a great 2009.

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