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