travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz

What Happens to Your Online/Social Media Identity When You Die?

June 27, 2011

 What would happen to my Facebook account? Facebook page? My twitter? and my blog after they close the casket and throw some rose petals and bid goodbye? That was the question/s that run to my head after I opened another account in the bank two years ago.

Would your social media identity also be buried in your grave?
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Social media and bank – where is the connection?! Well, after I opened my own account (we usually open joint accounts with my family), I was advised by my friend to get an ATM card for the account so my family can easily withdraw the money if ever something happens (that is if I give them my PIN) – it is not that I have millions in my bank account, but a few thousands can help in the burial; and going through the usual bank process would not be such a burden for the family. Then I suddenly thought, if I die, I want my family to post a very glam pic of me next to my casket – so I thought, I would now choose the picture I would want to be posted during my wake. I know death is the least favorite topics to talk about – but hey, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Then I thought of my social media identity. After I die, my page would just probably be flooded with missing you posts and condolences. Then I have a Facebook Page and Twitter- and I am not sure if my followers even know the face behind Ruthilicious (only friends I guess). But what concerns me the most is this “property” – my blog.
It is all about me – my views, feelings and experiences. It would no longer be updated and would be forever in the cyberspace – until closes the account for non-activity. I actually have choices:
  • Just let it be and just let it continue to receive hits. The site would still be up but never updated. At least even if I die, my blog would still serve as a reference for those who might need hotel or restaurant reviews, travel itineraries, or just any good buys. OR it would just simply give pleasure to all my stalkers who want to know how I lived my life. If this would continue to get hits and my Google Adsense ads are still running – the next step would be – to have someone take care of my earnings 😉 (Do I sound greedy?! 😀  I have not reached my minimum pay-out yet, so I am just thinking if this would take old age or death to get to that point).
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  • Delete the account. I am thinking of documenting all my social media accounts info and keeping it in the bank management system. I would then give someone the authority to retrieve the document after I die, so he/she could access all my accounts online and totally close it. Like I never existed in the cyberspace. Thinking about it now makes me sad.. What about all the pictures I have taken? All the events I have covered? My feelings documented and shared to the cyberworld? It’s like looking at your computer and seeing the Recycle Bin empties its content. Maybe, I can request to have the content and all other account set to private. But that is a little selfish?! I am sure one or two of my pages have been helpful to some readers. Delete or set to private? I still cannot decide. If I delete the account, it would only be beneficial to one Ruth who would want to register the name ruthilicious (the same for Twitter and Facebook username – I have to share, I was not very lucky to buy the site – ouch!)
  • Sell the property. I am not sure if this is something feasible for my account especially that I am still hosted under, and my site still carries the .blogspot name. That is for me to find out soon. 
  • Get a Ghost Writer. Okay, this is a joke and I just thought of before hitting the Publish Post button. Probably I can give someone the authority to publish contents in my blog after I die and totally pretend that he/she were me. I am no big a name and I am sure my death would not entail news coverage. No one would know who’s writing and publishing. Now, that’s a new meaning for the term Ghost Writer! Hehe. 
I honestly have not yet decided what to do with my online/social media accounts especially to my blog. I know I cannot sell my Facebook account, and so is my Twitter. My Facebook Fan Page might just eat a space in Facebook’s allotted bandwidth. This blog is the biggest concern.
I am not afraid of death, but I am more afraid of losing my blog’s content or losing a very precious picture because of memory card failure. I just thought that it is like an insurance policy and/or memorial plan that one should plan and probably discuss with someone from legal.
Have you already decided what you would do with your online/social media accounts? What would you do with your blog when you die?
Share your thoughts, insights, suggestions and fears. I would like to know. 

**Updated: February 2015;

Facebook recently launched the Legacy Contact where one can nominate a friend who can take care of his/her Facebook account when he/she dies.

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