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My Digital Death Wish

My Digital Death Wish

9 Jul 2019

How many social media accounts have you got? What do you think will happen to these accounts after you die? Do you really care?

Most of us don’t lose much sleep over these questions. We snooze away; safe in the knowledge that we'll live for a long time yet. When we do die, we won’t be around to deal with trifling matters like deactivating Facebook or deleting Tinder accounts, right?

All true. But failing to make provisions for our online life after we die is becoming a huge problem. An average of 8,000 Facebook users die every day. So that's 8,000 friends or family members who have to go through the motions of providing proof-of-death documentation and deactivation protocols … with a hell of a lot of lost data and media and memories to-boot.

You can avoid this situation by following some simple steps now. Only in life can you truly control what'll happen to your social presence after you're gone …

1. Keep track of your accounts

Some of us have as many as seven active – or at least activated – social media accounts. Failing to have a log of all the platforms on which you're registered could mean that, post-death, your friends and family don't know to try and delete you.

With that, you might wind up floating on forever in the vacuum of cyberspace. Avoid becoming a cyber zombie by taking the first step: Make a note of all your active accounts and write them down – spreadsheet, notes application, even pen and paper - if you sign up to a new social media account, add it to the list.

2. Decide what you want to happen to your accounts after you die

Having a Pinterest account drifting rudderless for eternity might not be the worst thing in the world, but be assured that a Facebook account lives on after you die is unsettling for your people.

Friends will still getting birthday and memory notifications – and that's not in great taste.

After you write down your accounts, figure out what you want to happen to them when you're gone. Also write down if there are specific instructions for any specific information (i.e copy Facebook New Year photographs onto pen-drive to give to John). Your list will probably end up looking something like this:

Facebook – memorialised (You can set this up yourself at any time)
Instagram – memorialised
Twitter – Deleted / Deactivated
LinkedIn - Deleted
Google – Deleted
Tinder / Grindr - Deleted
Apple – Deleted

3. Is money/ value tied up in your accounts?

This question won’t apply to most of your social media accounts, as many are free to use. However, umbrella programs like Apple and Google may very well have funds – or at least monetary value – tied up in them, such as digital music libraries, games, videos, e-books etc.

These collections can be massive - and can be worth thousands. Due to ironclad service agreements, users relinquish all claim to these upon death, and that includes transferring to a third party.

But some sources of money can be got at by a trusted third party, should the need arise. So identify these sources (PayPal, Google Suite) on your list of active accounts just in case monies or balances need to be liberated upon death. The alternative is losing it forever.  

This might mean updating your list so it looks a little something like this: 

Facebook – memorialised (bank card attached)
Instagram – memorialised
Twitter – Deleted / Deactivated
LinkedIn - Deleted
Google – Deleted (Google Suite subscription each month)
Tinder / Grindr - Deleted
Apple – Deleted
PayPal - Deleted (balance possible - check)

The above is a piece of cake, it’ll take you about as long as watching that episode of Friends you’ve seen six times. What about tonight, instead of browsing Facebook for a mindless half hour, you smash down your digital death wishes and save your loved ones a huge amount of bother.  

Check out the nest guide on how to get your wishes to your nominee. Spoiler alert, you can make a game of it.
 

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