Have you had a friend die, only to have them “pop up” on your Facebook page? This is only one of the challenges of death and Social Media.
Franca Posner is a counselor in private practice. Currently she has no website, and is not a social media buff, but she has become an expert on issues pertaining to death and the internet. Why?
“The topic kept coming up in Widows groups . They talked about being on Facebook and having their loved ones name pop up. One widow said, “I was on Facebook and was notified that David (her deceased husband) was friends with….” Another told of receiving an email through Facebook AFTER the death. They told of their problem accessing sites when they did not have the username and/or the password. There were so many issues raised. I had to get informed.”
Franca invites people to “Take 30 seconds, think of all the sites that you are registered with, and write down your usernames and passwords.” She suggests that most people are overwhelmed and not readily prepared to complete this task.
Franca recommends that people who use the internet assign a “cyberexecutor”. Cyberexecutives should know your usernames and passwords, and what you want done with your online presence following death.
How about you? Can you list the sites, usernames? and passwords that you have one the internet?
Who is your “cyberexecutor”?
What are your thoughts about cyberexecutives? What about your digital life after your death?
What do you know about Facebook and accessing an account after someone dies? Or, What do you want done with your Facebook account should when you die?
We are looking forward to a guest presentation with Franca during the “Death and Dying in the 21st Century” online course.
PS For more information on Franca, you can find her in PsychologyToday.com
PPS Do you know about the Digital Death Day Conference in England?
Thanks Kath for raising an ever increasing issue. This cyberworld is also creating more comlexity in Estate Administration. In the past, having paper statements to track investments, bank account etc you could get a clear picture of what someone was doing in their financial world, now with so much online it is creating a huge challenge for Executors.
I so agree with this article. I really started thinking about this when I got friend requests on Facebook from 2 recently deceased people. I was proactive and made a list of passwords etc and put them in my safety deposit box and gave my daughter joint access to it. How life (and death) has changed.