Saturday, May 3, 2014

What happens to your social media presence after you die?

What happens to your social media accounts after you die ?
What if I say you could write and schedule letters to be sent out 50 years from today? Wouldn't that be cool? Apparently there is an app for that!

I found some interesting things that people have come up with to deal with social media presence after death. Some of these measure are are nice way to give your friends and families a closure they require. Some are thought provoking, and some ideas - I'm still trying to wrap my head around. I'm going to start with the most bizarre ones and then I'm going to work my way down to more "normal" ones. I put normal in quotation since, I know someone is bound to ask me who made you the judge of what is normal? No one and I could write another blog post about that! : is a social network with an online messaging service that allows you to send messages to the future by scheduling the exact date you wish them to be delivered to your recipients. And with the " post-morterm" feature, you can also schedule messages to be send only after you have passed away. In order to use this service, you must select people of your trust to notify them, after you have passed away.
They can deliver your messages to until 50 years from the day you send them.

My Thoughts :
Okay this sounds very dramtic, very  " Kuch Kuch Hota Hain" to me : "Beti you are turning 8 years today and let me tell you a story.. about Anjali"
What a relief, to SRK's film mom! She will no longer have to be a guardian of these letters. Anjali would receive the digital ones on all of her birthdays. Hopefully the computer will also have enough brains and try not to send letters to a 8 years old.. which will make her to try to ignite her dad's passion for his college sweetheart! It will give Tina a warning message when she is scheduling the delivery of these letters "Have you lost your mind ? She will be only 8 then!"
Ugh! I just ruined KKHH for myself.. I still love you SRK! I still think KKHH is magical!"
** tries to shut eyes really tight** to think "all izz well".
It can be fun/cool but at the same time be insensitive. Allow me to explain my self. 
So, say I am writing to my great grand daughter - Hi this is your grandmother.. This is 2014 and we are worried about global warming. Cool, very cool indeed. (No pun intended!)
But what if I'm writing to a friend and asking about how her husband is doing, and maybe they are not together anymore and she is still trying to get over it. Did my future dated letter open up a wound? Do I need to kick my future self posthumously? Who knows, right?
Pessimistic, you say? I say I'm just being practical! May be this app is made for someone more optimistic that myself. : This service will attempt to give you an afterlife avatar, a digital recreation of you which will communicate with your loved ones after you are dead. They will collect their data from all of the social media platforms you interact with today!

My Thoughts : All I'm going to say is, this is creepy. When people die,  you are supposed to hold on to their memories yet move on in life. I don't think this will allow my family to get a closure and I don't want that. Plus, my family will know it is not me and the intended effect this website is trying to achieve will not be fulfilled.

LivesOn : This is a Twitter app. The service uses Twitter bots powered by algorithms that analyse your online behaviour. It learns how you speak, so it can keep on scouring the internet, favouriting tweets and posting the sort of links you like, creating a personal digital afterlife.
 Guess what the tag line is ? "When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting."

My thoughts : This difficult for me to grasp.  Would you really want your digital self to tweet? Yes the software would learn my ways of interacting today! But would there be any room for the digital "me" to  evolve? Will my digital self still tweet like me today, say 25 years from now? Would I like that? Can you imagine if I passed away when I was 15 and my digital self is tweeting with a zillion like in sentences today? Like so totally uncool! I word : Annoying!!

These are interesting : 

Webwill :  This is a virtual tool , which you can use to plan what will happen with your web presence across all social networks, web sites, blogs and games.  For example, you can prepare a final tweet or automatically send an e-mail to all your Gmail contacts. There is a free version  where they will deactivate all your social media accounts and in the paid version where customized messages can be sent out after your death. How do they know you are dead? In some countries they cross reference with the national birth and death registries. : This is kind of along the same lines as Webwill but a little but more personalized. Erica Swallow in her blog wrote :

For those interested in sending more personal messages -- confessions of love, apologies, "I told you so," a map to buried treasure -- there's If I Die. This company will also post a public Facebook message when you die (the message goes up when at least three of your appointed trustees tell the service you've died), but it can also send out private messages to specific people over Facebook or via e-mail.

Okay I think you better tell your loved ones that you are signing up for this otherwise it might not be very well accepted by them. They might think of it as a cruel joke or even worse that someone hacked into their loved one's account!
More "normal" ones:

Facebook :  If you die, your family can reach Facebook and either delete your account or make it a memorial. Only friends will be able to search you and post. Your contact information will be deleted. I thought this was a good idea, place where your friends and family can unite to grieve your loss.

Twitter : Just as Facebook, family members of the deceased can request Twitter to delete the account or get a permanent backup of the account.

I can't predict the future may be 50 years from now, this will be the trend! There are many other like these out there, for example, legacy locker and dead social that deal with your presence in social media, after you are no more. Apparently this is an emerging market, thought I share it and also share my thoughts with you. Isn't blogging all about that, anyway?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, people use to think what to do with there body after they die now they will be forced to think about their social media presence after they are dead.....