Navigating through life away from the library.
Navigating through life away from the library.

If I Died, How Would You Know?

Skeleton Hand and MouseI’m a night owl.  I mean I am truly one of those people who comes to life at night. So while others are sleeping, I’m either on the computer or watching reruns of my favorite shows on TV Land.  And when I do finally crawl into bed, my brain is still going at about 200 MPH. Seriously, I have some pretty wild thoughts in the wee hours of the morning:

  • How come politicians haven’t figured out that a great cup of coffee and a red velvet cupcake  really does make things better?  Seriously, it’s impossible to stay angry when eating a cupcake, try it.
  • Why do Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna have a reality show?  Yeah, he was hawt back in his LA Law days and, well, it’s hard not to look at her for  a variety of reasons but do they really warrant a 1/2 hour of TV time?
  • Who would notify my online friends if I died?  See, I think about you guys too Or maybe I’m thinking too highly of myself, who knows?

I told you my thoughts are wild, they’re also completely random but what are you gonna do?  I figured the best thing to do is solve the one problem I can and work on the demise of global hostilities and useless reality shows later.

So the first thing I wanted to know is how would some of my favorite social sites handle my passing?   Twitter’s Deceased User Policy essentially states that a family member has to notify Twitter of the account owner’s passing and they’ll either delete the account or help the family to preserve a backup of the public tweets.  Facebook provides a form for family members to submit in order to remove the deceased users account from the public stream and turn the account into a memorial page (although relatives can opt to have the account removed).   For more information about how to close a deceased family member’s accounts, read this post on Une Belle Vie.

The company policies are good but what about the personal side?  The notification, who tells my online friends what has happened?  I assume my husband would do the notifying but the question is how? My husband doesn’t know the usernames or passwords for my accounts nor does he know everyone in my online community.  In fact, I don’t even think he knows all of the sites that I use on a regular basis (and, chances are, neither do your loved ones). I also have a host of face~to~face friends that I’m sure he’s only met in passing.

As more of our relationships with people grow and develop online, I think this is an important topic for family members to discuss.  I  talked over my social media conundrum with my husband and this is the plan we developed:

  • I’ve identified key people from each of my communities with their names, email addresses and phone numbers for him to contact
  • All of my social media sites have been listed along with the usernames and passwords for him to delete or turn into a memorial as he sees fit
  • Special friends have also been identified as people who will notify others within my social circles in both my online and face~to~face worlds

All of this information is kept where my husband can easily find it.  Excessive? Probably.  But I know that if something happened to one of my online friends I’d want to know about it, just the same as if I’d want to know if something happened to a family member or a face~to~face friend.

What about you, have you ever thought about the notification process if something happened to you?  Would your loved ones know which accounts to close?  Do they have access to passwords and usernames?

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