Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Awhile back in a previous blog entry discussing our digital remains, I mentioned the uneasy knowledge that after someone dies, their digital persona continues online unabated. On CBC-Radio's "Q" on March 19th, 2012, there was an interview with Adele McAlear, the creator of a website which examines this issue in detail: Death and Digital Legacy. I also note that the website seems a bit out of date, but there are a lot of references to articles where this topic is hotly discussed. For example: the irregular Digital Death Day conferences that happen in the USA and Europe seem to be on-going. I'm just not sure when the next one is. They don't say.
There is a lot of discussion about death and Facebook, of course, since it seems to be the largest repository of people's lives. Now, IF I DIE "...is the first and only Facebook application that enables you to create a video or a text message that will only be published after you die". Forbe's magazine had an article a year ago that addressed the issue of Facebook's death problem. Even Popular Mechanics weighs in on the topic of what we can do about our digital legacy. Life Insurance Companies are becoming informed and spreading this information to prospective clients. A great information source is from Australia's lifeinsurancefinder.com which uses comprehensive info-graphics to cover a lot of the issues.
The New York Times Magazine had a great article on Jan. 5, 2011 that was extensive. It was immediately followed on Jan. 20th by another about managing your online accounts. This topic seems to have been in the mainstream for quite awhile now, yet we are still not clearly informed by the social sites themselves as to how to deal with this. Google actually demands all correspondence to access a deceased client's site to be sent via snail-mail. This underscores the slow legal hurdles we face when the family or executor needs to access or shut down a personal site.
So this question continues to grow in importance and relevance as new social media sites proliferate and more personal information is stored on clouds and databases worldwide. This will not go away, especially after we die. So the time to get your affairs in order is now .... do you really want to leave all those photos and personal tidbits behind for the rest of the world to poke through? Time to wipe the slate clean and leave a legacy that is not contaminated by your passwords, adolescent thoughts and drunk party pictures.
Sorry for the long gap in Dark Dissolution postings, but I've been sidetracked lately by another social media site: Instagram, where I can post all my macabre images and collect others that I like. Search deadcatpress. Very addictive. And now there is yet another: Pinterest. Here I can re-pin images that I like to collect for reference. So my archive of the macabre grows and grows...and so again, I am leaving another digital trail which purportedly describes an aspect of my personality, if one chooses to read it that way.
Posted by the Curator at 11:24 PM