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Anthony Walker / U.S. Army Photo

Posting photos on Facebook for our friends and colleagues might not be a waste of time, as a new study shows our social networks appear to stay intact even after we die.

Why it matters: The study is the first-ever large-scale effort to look at the resilience of a person's social network — online or off — after his or her death. The researchers found increased interactions after someone died of cancer or an accident and less frequent communication after suicide or other causes that have stigma attached to them.

Our thought bubble: How does posting about or tagging someone in a photo translate into support? Can our online relationships be relied on in real life — and does that even matter?

Methodology: Researchers looked at 15,000 anonymized Facebook networks involving 770,000 people to see how resilient human social structures were after the person at the center of them died. They found friends of the deceased not only stayed engaged, they actually increased their ties to each other afterwards, often for years. Close friends interacted 30% more than usual in the month after a mutual friend's death. Their contact waned after that month but even 2 years later they were interacting about 3% more when compared to networks of friends who hadn't suffered a loss.

Interesting detail: 18-24 year olds increased their social network interactions most after a death of a mutual friend or colleague.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.