The Curious Autodidact

March 23, 2011

The Cyber-you: Finite or Infinite?

Filed under: cool internet stuff,end of life,media related — Honilima @ 5:34 pm

I've looked at clouds from both sides now...

Only 33% of Americans have made a traditional will. We don’t like to talk about our mortality and this inability to plan is very hard on those who are left to grieve.

According to writer Rob Walker there are over 300,000 people on Facebook world wide who will die in the coming year and it brings up what will happen to our digital entities when we die. Walker wrote about this in the New York Times Magazine, in an article entitled Cyberspace When You are Dead. Walker is featured on KQED‘s radio program “Forum” called Our Digital Afterlife with Nate Lustig, co-founder of Entrustet a company that allows you to designate who gets your passwords and what your digital wishes are when you have expired. A recent widow calls into the show with the tender quandary of when to take her deceased husband’s Facebook profile off-line, and tells how much it hurt her to alter her own profile, from married to widowed—these are part of out brave new world of cyber-identities.

For those of us with cherished family photos, in albums from our ancestors, the thought of what will happen to our family photos that on-line, who is going to get these passwords, and who will pay the nominal storage fee to access these gems is a new frontier. What about on-line entities on Facebook and things like Twitter etc?


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