Digital Life After “Death”- Reann Nathan

Have you ever thought about what happens to you social media accounts after your death? What happens to all your photos, contacts and messages? Where do they go? Who can see them? Well, companies like Google are now making passing on information easier and less of a hassle then sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Google users are now able to set up their account with an “expiration date” of up to a full year, and after the selected time the account will close. After the account is closed only allow people whom you have personally selected to have access to information of your choice. Oh, and, by the way, “death” doesn’t necessarily have to mean your heart has physically stopped beating, it could just be that you no longer wish to use the social media site to communicate.
Companies, such as Facebook, choose to be a bit more difficult in the process of accessing a past-loved ones account. They will not give out any information about your page to anyone, even blood relatives. Which to me seems kind of silly. I mean, when I’m gone, I have no desire for my Facebook page to be up and running. Companies like Twitter, go as far as making you show a certificate of death and I written statement explaining your relation with the deceased. I feel like when you have just lost someone, the last thing you would want to deal with is filing paper work, showing certificates and maybe even making a court appearance. All for the sake of closing a Facebook or Twitter account. Seriously people?
That’s why I think that what Google has done is such a great contribution to the future of social media personalization. It makes closing accounts and passing on the important things quick and painless. I think it’s about time that the rest of social media stepped up their game.

sources
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-22/news/ct-edit-privacy-20130422_1_facebook-page-google-users-instagram

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