Digital Legacy Planning

Posted on November 30, 2015 in social media

Social networks are still a relatively new aspect of technology, with many people taking advantage of digital connection. The beauty of social networking is the interconnectivity of various people all across the world. People who take advantage of social networks find they serve as a useful tool for keeping up with friends and family, and making new work and life connections. But what happens to a person's social media accounts, when that person is no longer here to run them?

The Grey Area

While a person is alive and well, having a social network profile can be great fun. It builds community and platform for his or her career and leaves an online footprint. When someone passes away, however, these accounts fall into a grey area where loved ones must handle the responsibility of notifying and making decisions about all existing social media.

According to many social network contracts, after a person passes on, the network inherits all of their media on that particular website. It is important to note that people can be appointed by the deceased to handle certain accounts.

What is a Digital Legacy?

There is no concrete way for social media networks to know if a person has passed on or not, except perhaps if they have not logged into their account in a very long time. This means that before a person passes on, they have the ability to leave behind information vital to their wishes concerning their social media accounts, known as a digital legacy.

When a person passes on and there is no one to take over the social media profiles that are left, the page or pages often simply remain on the host server forever. Many people have different views on this. Some like to use it as a digital tombstone, a way to remember the passed, while others wish to have the profile deleted.

Notification of Preference

The best way for someone to make his or her wishes known concerning the use of social network profiles is to leave a notification in his or her will. This way, after a person has passed on, loved ones only need to verify that person's desire and reach out to administrators of the various online platforms.

Social network profiles can serve as important as communication in the real world. Digital legacy, while a new concept, is crucial to those you leave behind, as it can make the process of closing out accounts or management of accounts easier for everyone involved.

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