November 3, 2012

Pajama Musings - RIP


Know what? You wouldn't even know I'm already pushing daisies when you read this because I schedule a lot of my posts in advance. Including this one. Don't worry though, I'm still alive and kicking. Then again, maybe I just thought I would be.

(Dark) fun aside, there are plenty of reasons why some bloggers stop posting from one day to the next. Fortunately the usual suspects are in most cases real life getting in the way or maybe boredom setting in. Death of a blogger? Certainly another reason and I couldn't honestly say that I'd know of any examples in which that has been the case. Sometimes bloggers will let readers know they won't continue blogging, then they don't. And it's the latter case which got me thinking that it's not so unlikely that tragedy strikes and puts an end to the person behind a blog.

When one of my Facebook friends died just recently, people would comment on her profile page, transforming it into a book or rather wall of condolences. Not so say it freaked me out, but it sure gave me a weird feeling in my stomach. A common friend had posted about the death, so yes, we all knew why she no longer posted anything herself. I don't know whether her profile will get closed down, though I'm fairly sure that relatives can request this through Facebook somehow. For the time being the her page is now a shrine visited by friends. And yes, I do understand the need as it helps those left behind to come to terms with the loss, yet I must admit I "unfriended" her a little later myself. Maybe if we had been close friends and not just loosely known each other over mutual friends, I mightn't have done this. I really don't know.

My point is that in times of Social Media sites being a big part in many people's lives, it shouldn't come as such a big surprise that some profiles and/or pages may stay as dead as their creators when they unexpectedly die. I have no idea how many people even think about this possibility, because obviously it is there! One day you get hit by a car and that is that. End of story. Literally.

So what to do? It's up to each and everyone, really. Some might want their profiles on Facebook or similar sites to stay while other's don't. Would I want my Facebook page to become a shrine? Not really. But how about my blog then? Alright, I would want that one to remain, then again that's just my Ego talking. I guess I'd have a friend post about my demise and have her close the blog after a certain amount of time. Good thing I know a few people who actually know how to navigate on Blogger, eh? Now to find a trusty soul who I can share my login data with ...

What a depressing post, I know. But I really do believe that we should be aware of this eventuality and thus give some thought to how we'd like things to be handled - just in case. Never hurts to be prepared, worst case scenario and all.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Have you ever contemplated the possibility of death and its consequences regarding your online presence? If so, maybe you've even made arrangements for such a scenario? Do you know of any blogs which suddenly didn't get updated anymore and where you later found out it was because the blogger had died? Please share.

12 comments:

  1. Hi. My 26 year old(at the time) son was taken from our family in 2007. He had just started a My Space Page and hadn't gotten too far with it. My then 28 year old son got onto his page and it is now a Memorial Page for all his friends and family to write their memories and well wishes to us(his family) on. I treasure reading the things he did for others and seeing the different ways others remember our loving son.
    Although I agree it does seem weird to think about our mortality and what we would do if we passed while still having a F/B or MS page, it really does make sense to have a friend or family member your info, just in case.
    I really enjoy your posts and hope to see you again real soon! Thank you, I really appreciate your writing!

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    1. I guess everyone is different in that regard - while I do understand how eg a Memorial Page can help family and friends deal with the loss, personally I would not want such a page for my own person.
      Thanks for visiting my blog, Lily Anne!

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  2. I never thought about death in relation to my online life. Frankly, once you are dead you stop caring about that sort of stuff, that is why I never even think about it, let alone make plans. Sure it would be nice to let people know that you haven't abandoned them but that you are having a plausible reason for not posting anymore, but on the other hand they will live even if they don't know what happened.
    Two people in the digiscrapping community died lately and of course everybody is in shock, but life goes on and we can't worry about everybody and everything.
    I know, I am callous, :)

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    1. Unless you decide to return as a ghost and do some poltergeisting you're certainly right about not caring about what happens once you're gone ;-D still a bit of "preparation" doesn't hurt and will make it easier for your family to eg close your online accounts (unless they want you to go on living in that virtual realm, that is).

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  3. My grandfather died two years ago, he had a facebook page, various online accounts etc. Some were easy to dissolve, others much more difficult as there were no records of passwords to cancel services etc. In some cases copies of the death certificate had to be mailed to companies to stop services. My children inherited his computer which had a anti virus protection program loaded with an annoying child protection feature which we can't overrule because we don't have the password - even though the subscription to the program is lapsed. There are a lot of things that you might not consider that may leave your family vulnerable to fraud as well.
    Since my grandfather's death I have created a notebook which contains the passwords to all of my accounts online, including the blog, facebook pages, twitter, email, even newsletter subscriptions and website memberships so these things can easily be dismantled after my death.
    I guess the point I am trying to make is it's not only about your online presence but your digital life in its entirety that needs to be taken care of once you are gone.
    There are services that you can subscribe to as well that help you arrange things for your 'digital' death (just google it) if I was on my own that seems like a practical solution.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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    1. I have such a list myself, and not just because I tend to forget my passwords. I mean, it really makes sense to think ahead and not leave your family struggle through administrative barriers in the middle of grieving your loss. I've heard about online services helping with this, though I admittedly haven't looked into it just yet.

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  4. Book'd Out made such a great point. I may have to start a record of all access to my "online life" -- emails, subscriptions, and what not. Heck, I find it already difficult trying to remember every single password to the plethora of accounts I once registered to.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me a note. I truly appreciate it. I hope to hear more from you in the future. Meanwhile, just wanted to say that your blog and writing rocks. I wish I was much of a prolific reader as yourself -- my eyes tire too easily, and I find reading too much of a chore in the night, sadly. I do enjoy that engaging activity, though.

    Your new blog follower,
    Juanita

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    1. I too think this is sound advise and can only recommend keeping such a list to anyone who's very actively online. It saves the bereaved lots of work especially under the sad circumstances.

      Thanks for stopping by here too, Juanita! :-)

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  5. I think this sort of thing is becoming much more commonplace in the writing of wills. Not sure I'd bother aout all accounts but certainly I'd like someone to put something on my blog and Twitter if I died unexpectedly.

    Though maybe it'll be a bit of a shock to find out about someone's death by an out of office message...

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    1. I don't even remember each and every account I have online, but the "important" ones, well, those should be handled in a way I feel appropriate. The out of office message, well, technically you will then be "out of the office", ha! *cough*

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  6. Have you seen this ?http://mashable.com/2012/12/26/social-media-life-die/

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I hadn't read that article yet and it beautifully illustrates the point I made in this post.

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