As more and more of our ‘property’ becomes online-only, how do we go about managing our digital estate? We look into the solutions offered by companies for how to preserve your digital assets.
How Social Media Networks are Digitizing the Dead
Immortality is something that is out of reach for us mere mortal beings, or is it? Online services that specialise in digitizing the dead offer the ability for people to attain some means of life beyond the grave. Have you never wondered what would happen to all your digital assets like your Facebook account and your business’ website when you die? Neither had I, until someone asked me the same question, but it’s something that in this age should be considered.
In terms of your social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, they have different approaches on how to preserve your digital assets that are tailored to their networks. Facebook ‘memorializes’ your account, enabling it to be viewed by those on your friends list and allowing them the accessibility to post messages on your wall. Your privacy will be maintained through the withholding of your account details from all parties unless you have requested otherwise. Your profile, however, will remain on Facebook.
Twitter has taken this concept even further and set up a website named TheTweetHereAfter especially dedicated to memorializing one of the last tweets that you ever tweeted in your life time. It’s essentially an archive of final words from people predominantly featured on Wikipedia’s listing of notable deaths, allowing you a glimpse into a part of a person’s life before they passed away.
A service named Liveson, gives you the chance to ‘live on’ through your Twitter account. The website features the phrase ‘When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting’. Creepy and catchy; an effective combination. You can essentially create a ghost of yourself and lock it in Twitter, haunting all your followers through tweets generated by an A.I that learns all about you from an analysis of your entire Twitter feed. Through this analysis it absorbs your tastes and syntax, then uses the information to produce convincing tweets that sound as though they were written by you, mimicking your online persona. The site is currently within its early stages, with over 500 people signed up for the beta.
Other websites offer a similar service, allowing you to arrange scheduled messages to be released after you die across your social networks; these of course include Twitter and Facebook. One of these websites is www.deadsoci.al, which asks you to assign an executor to manage and distribute your messages after you have passed away and who also holds the power to administrate whether or not these messages are actually sent out.
Services like these mean you could essentially maintain a shadow of yourself online even when you are no longer here to cast one. It is odd to think you can now communicate to people from beyond the grave. These services that are digitizing the dead are available now, meaning you can make plans to create your digital afterlife today.
How to Preserve Your Digital Assets
Your digital financial legacy, whether it’s your successful website or blog, may not be in as much of your control as you believe. Your beneficiaries and executor may not have the legal right to access your digital wealth or social media accounts unless you have granted it to them prior to your passing.
Companies, such as PasswordBox, are able to provide you with a vault in which you can keep all of your passwords under a military grade encryption, meaning you can secure your digital assets in one place ready to pass down to your digital heir if you should choose to. Of course you could always sell them before you die and use the money to tour the world instead. Tempting, no?