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Do You Have a Social Media Burial Plan?

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Every so often I wonder what exactly would happen with my Social Media accounts if I suddenly died.  I think having a plan is important. Please tell me I am not the only one who has thought about this?

I’d hate to get hacked, have someone else claim to be me, or just let people think I gave it all up. Also, I think there are some people who would actually miss me (maybe) and wonder why I suddenly dropped off the internet. Informing them of my death would be the right thing to do. Right?

Social Media Death

Image Source: legalblogger.com

I shared this thought with one of my daughters the other day and she thought (and still thinks) I’m nuts. I made her promise that she would make a statement on all of my networks within a few days of my death and assured her she would have everything she needed to do so. She said,

“If you were saying here is my life insurance policy and here is my burial plan…I would understand, but your Social Media Mom? That’s just weird and creepy and I don’t want to talk about it. It’s not right”

Why isn’t it right? Isn’t this just another thing that we have to think about? In days past there were no such things as a “cyber” world and Social Media, but as we all know there now is and we should keep some considerations for it in thoughts about our passing, just like we do anything else. I understand no one really wants to talk about these things or hear these things, but I don’t treat my on-line world as “un-real” or say my off-line world is “in real life”.

Beetle Juice

Image Source: the-ghost-with-the-most.tumblr.com

I care about all of the people I am connected to. I also care about how I am remembered. I should add that I am pretty damn sure my daughter would freak out to see my ghost and wouldn’t want me tapping on her shoulder over the keyboard saying,

“Don’t write that!” and “Gawwwwd can’t you find a better picture to share? This is my memorial after all and I want to look cute dagnabbit”

More than 8000 FaceBook users die every day. That’s nearly three million a year and they estimate that more than 30 million users have passed since it’s inception. I have to pause and wonder how many people have died that I am currently connected to online and maybe I just don’t know it?

Image Source: sparkyhub com

Image Source: sparkyhub com

In the spring of 2012 a new App was introduced on FaceBook called EverTalk and it’s kind of a nice idea. If you are interested, you can see a video of how it worksTwitter also has options for those who are no longer living, although some seem a bit like haunting someone after you die.

Image Source: momofactor com

Image Source: momofactor com

Either way you (or your family) can choose whether to have your accounts closed, or memorialized.  I like the idea of “memorialized”.

I have a direct on-line reach to well over fifteen thousand people. I have cultivated my many networks for business, writing, and activism purposes. I actually do interact with a large portion of these people. Social Media has never really been a purely social thing for me, I do a lot of business on-line. Although some people are just friends or family  most others are colleagues, prospects, associates, and loyal readers. Don’t they all have a right to know when I’m gone?

I think they do!

Social Media Will

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Most people forget about some of the “other things” that need to be (or should be) taken care of after they die. We do our best to make our wishes known about whether we want to be buried or cremated, whether we want a memorial or funeral ceremony, and whether or not we want an open or closed casket; we talk about what to do with Grandma’s old crochet blankets, and who gets the cat, but how many of us have a solid plan in place for what to do with our Social Media accounts after we hit the great beyond? If you need help, there is a site that walks you through the importance of a Social Media Will

So I ask, do you have a Social Media Burial Plan?

I do! Or, at least I have started to put one together and I think you should too.

I am a lover of flash drives. I use them for everything. I have a handful of them in front of me at all times and one day I got to thinking; why not put all of my account log ins (with links) and passwords on a flash drive? It would be my final “care package“.

Image Source: dianegardner1.wordpress.com

Image Source: dianegardner1.wordpress.com

I could add anything else that was important as well and leave it somewhere only my kids (and my attorney)  would be sure to find in the event of my death. I could also update it frequently if I changed my mind about something or have added more accounts along the way.

I could even put final messages for my kids to use in the hope it will alleviate any additional angst they might feel about “saying goodbye” to all of you for me. It must be hard to log on to someones else’s Social Media accounts and say,

“Um, this isn’t so-and-so, it’s her son/daughter/mother/best friend/neighbor and I don’t know how to tell you all this, but so-and-so died and I didn’t want everyone to just wonder where she went…blah blah blah”.

Instead, I will have pre-written messages they can just copy and paste into the status or posting fields, hit click, and be done with it without having to give it much thought or be caused any additional pain.

Image Source: flickr.com

Image Source: flickr.com

This makes perfect sense to me, besides I would want to be the one to “say goodbye” since it has been my words that brought us all together in the first place. I’m a little nutty about was goes on my pages while I am alive, I can only imagine how some things might really bother me after I died.

I’m not crazy, I just care about all of you and I would hate for anyone to think I just quit being the activist and writer that I am. And, I can only imagine the conspiracy theories if I simply disappeared!

Come on, admit it, it could even be fun! Especially if you had a few “status updates” for someone to post periodically. Ok, maybe that would be going too far although I am sure there is probably a company or two out there that already does this very thing.

If being the current keeper of your Social Media death “To do” list is unappealing you can always use SecureSafe; a service where you can make a list of your digital assets and decide what happens to them when you pass away.

Both Twitter and FaceBook have options for family of the deceased. Your page can be closed or it can be memorialized. Both however, have different ways of doing this so be sure you let your family know your preference. Families all over the world are battling Social Media sites for access and/or preservation of their lost loved ones pages. I think we have a responsibility to save those we love from having to go through so many hurtful hurdles.

So, what would you say in your post-script?

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35 comments on “Do You Have a Social Media Burial Plan?

  1. artofstumbling
    January 6, 2013

    I’m friends with 2 dead people on Facebook currently. Both of their pages have been ‘memorialised’ e.g. so friends can say ‘I miss you.’ or ‘I miss that time we had a cheeseburger’ or whatever. My ex knows all my passwords, so I’ll tell her to tell people I’ve died. Tho if we both die together… ooh haven’t thought about that! I know, what a horrible thought… people may post ugly pictures of you after you’ve died lol! I’ll have a ‘no double chins’ policy in my little box.

    Like

  2. Corner of Confessions
    January 6, 2013

    I don’t think your crazy. Thought i laughed at your ghost anecdote. That would be something I would do, haunt a family member to post on my blog lol. I get it. I have a haphazard plan, the fiancee would post on my facebook and from there the news would spread.

    Like

  3. 1EarthUnited
    January 6, 2013

    Hi Cheri, you’ve brought up a valid concern. I suppose you could include that provision in your will, have your attorney execute it… to notify your cyber kin. It does sound a little creepy, like ghost in the machine. Like anything else, it just takes getting use to I suppose. Great post!

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 6, 2013

      Thanks! And yes one could just add the info in their regular Will, the only problem I see is I often change passwords and add accts etc. My SM is continuously evolving so whatever I provide my attorney would need to be continuously updated. THAT would be a pain for us both LOL.

      Like

  4. Cheri, contact me directly @susanfinchweb about an online radio show with this topic. Love it, long-time believer in it. Thank you for this detailed article.

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 7, 2013

      Thanks Susan. Yes, I have toyed with the idea of the article for some time, but finally got around to it. I will shoot you and e-mail.

      Like

  5. Rev Dani Lynn
    January 7, 2013

    Thanks for visiting my blog. When I came here and saw the title on your post I really did LOL. For some strange reason, I’d just been thinking about this very thing yesterday.

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 7, 2013

      LOL you are welcome and it is definitely worth thinking about!!!

      Like

  6. tfaswift
    January 12, 2013

    I think this is a great idea, really great. Lots of people get uncomfortable talking about death, but I don’t. As for my “real life” or whatever plans, I’ve already told people that I would like to be buried, but closed-casket please and just throw me in the cheapest pine box they’ve got and stick me in the ground. It really bugs me how much money these funeral service companies make from guilt-tripping the family members of the deceased – “But wouldn’t your wife have deserved the best and most expensive coffin in the whole damn world?” No thanks, please don’t bankrupt my poor husband. I’m dead. I don’t care what kind of box I’m in.

    But I certainly do think about the people online. I mean, as you may know, I’ve been going through some stuff recently, and now with my dad, and even through that I didn’t just disappear offline as many people do and then come back when it was all sorted. I stayed around on FB and WP and wrote miserable posts and messages keeping people up to speed.

    Sometimes I wondered if I should just shut up because I sounded like I was complaining (I don’t like to whine on about stuff) but then I thought, people aren’t mind-readers and I should tell my online friends what’s going on. That whole “just disappear without any explanation thing” doesn’t suit me well at all. I’m always concerned about other people’s feelings. Maybe they wouldn’t care, but maybe one or two would. Even if it’s just for them, I would want them to know if I had died.

    I will definitely be looking into this more, and thanks for the links. I admit though, I was a bit freaked out by that dead Twitter bird thing! That is weird! LOL.

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 12, 2013

      ITilda I love your personality. You make me smile regardless of what the topic you are talking about.
      Yes, this is important in my opinion and it really bothers me when people say this isn’t part of their “real life” because it is and as you said, maybe some wouldn’t give a rats ass, but some would and they do deserve to know.

      Like

      • tfaswift
        January 12, 2013

        Thanks for loving my personality! 🙂 And yes, even if there’s only one person out there who would care, they deserve to know. Everybody matters. I actually read a post written by a young man about this and how a blogger that he regularly followed just disappeared and he was really sad. And it happened to me too. One of my regular commenters (and vice versa) was called Reverend Mother and she was such a kind woman. She disappeared. I sent her a message of concern and the last I heard fromher was – “Dear friend, I’m sorry for the late reply. I am indeed taking a break for a while. My attention is needed elsewhere. Blessings!” She never came back but her blog remains http://deceivemenot.wordpress.com/

        Like

      • C. R.
        January 12, 2013

        Wow. Yeh I have had people suddenly disappear as well and I always wonder 😦

        Like

      • tfaswift
        January 12, 2013

        Yes, it’s sad. 😦

        Like

      • C. R.
        January 12, 2013

        hey T have you read “medicine Money” yet???

        Like

  7. tfaswift
    January 12, 2013

    “yet”? It must be very important! Nope, I’m afraid not. Is it a book or something else? Is it one of your posts because if so, I’m really sorry for missing it and will read it now. Oh crap, is it something you recommended to me before and now I’ve gone and forgotten about it?

    Like

  8. tfaswift
    January 12, 2013

    I suppose it would be possible in a blog to write a post for “in case I die” but never publish it, just save the draft indefinitely. Then the person who you’ve chosen to trust with your passwords etc can just go into your posts, find it and click publish, and it will explain everything in your own words, and your own special goodbye. I might do that. I’d ask my husband to publish it for me.

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 12, 2013

      that’s what I have done 😉

      Like

      • tfaswift
        January 12, 2013

        Ah, then I shall do the same!

        Like

  9. vision5d2012
    January 16, 2013

    Wonderful practical post! Sort of like doing an Advance Directive only for social media. What would I say in my post script? I’ve ascended. Grab your Light Body and come along! Is that too weird? Thanks for thinking this through for us, Alia

    Like

    • C. R.
      January 16, 2013

      HA! What a great comment. You made me laugh. Indeed, “I’ve ascended.”

      Like

      • vision5d2012
        February 3, 2013

        Hold my place, please! I’m finishing up my 3D contract and will be joining you shortly, Alia

        Like

      • C. R.
        February 3, 2013

        LOL it took me a minute to understand your comment hahaha. I get it, your “post-script”. I love it! Thanks!

        Like

  10. Pingback: A Thank You Note « Cheri Speak

  11. kbeck13
    February 21, 2013

    Excellent post. I have never even considered this. I agree, it’s best to be prepared and the readers would appreciate being in the know.

    Like

    • C. R.
      February 21, 2013

      Thank you very much! I don’t think a lot of people have, but it makes sense to plan it out just like everything else we plan regarding our death.

      Like

  12. seeker
    February 21, 2013

    I have strick instructionst to my family to notify to do a Post in WP and Facebook that my job is done when I die.

    Like

  13. djdfr
    February 21, 2013

    I certainly hope someone will post to let readers know when I leave my body. Blogging creates relationships.

    Like

    • C. R.
      February 21, 2013

      I think it’s up to each of us to make sure someone knows to do so 😉

      Like

  14. Amanda Wood
    February 22, 2013

    Very interesting thoughts and ideas. No, you are not the only one! I found your blog via the Daily Post, and will be one of your followers now, no matter what!

    Like

  15. Patricia
    February 22, 2013

    I have thought about this quite often…probably because I am old(er). I think I would like to write my own “good-bye” and leave instructions to post it. Guess I should start on it now just in case. I think it would need to be updated every so often so if I live to be ancient it won’t be just history.

    Like

  16. zennurse
    July 13, 2016

    I wish my son had been able to do this but he was so sick so fast. It would really have helped his friends. I’ve left his page open and they still post there after four years. It’s a comfort to me to read their notes.
    I didn’t know about memorializing and will look at doing that.
    What strange new things we have to consider now when doing end of life planning. I’m going to email a social worker friend at hospice to put this on her radar as well.

    Thanks, Cheri
    @capeannsky

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheri
      July 13, 2016

      You are very welcome. I wrote that about 3 years ago. It is an awful thing if we do not take these things into consideration now … I keep my stuff on flash drives for my kids, including a ;final post; from me for them to copy/paste.

      Like

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