We live in a digital age, and with over a quarter of the world’s population using social media many of us conduct our day to day lives both online and beyond. Interestingly, while social networking has become ubiquitous in our lives very many of us have not considered what will happen to our online presence after we die. This infographic explores what happens to our profiles after we die, and sheds light on an emerging area of services that cater to the ‘digital afterlife’.
In a recent poll only 20% of UK adults admitted to having given though to what will happen to their social profiles after they die. Of this group there was quite a divide in how they would want their profiles to be maintained after they have died. Almost half (43%) of those polled said that they would want their social profiles closed down, while 20% said that they would want their profiles still active but simply closed for comments. One fifth were unsure as to what they would prefer and 16% would like their profiles to remain online with commenting enabled forever. Have you considered what your preference would be?
An emerging online industry is beginning to deal with the concept of the digital afterlife. There are a number of companies which provide services to allow for your online legacy to be catered to in a manner of your choosing once you have died. The Cirrus Legacy service caters to your digital assets, and allows you to elect a digital executor (similar to the process with a will) who will carry out your wishes for each individual profile and digital asset. The posthumous email service Dead Man’s Switch caters to those of us who want to say a final goodbye to our loved one, while The Voice Library allows you to record messages, poems or readings to be sent to your loved ones after you are gone. The most interesting online digital afterlife service is LifeNaut which allows you to create interactive avatars and upload content to preserve your memory, but most fascinating is the fact that you can upload a DNA sample so that you can “create a free back-up of [your] mind and genetic code.”