Death. Even thinking about it is enough to unsettle most of us. Recently I came across this the idea of digital death through a module I study. Current trends in social computing. I had a slight idea about digital death before, but after this module I understand it better I think.
Real life and digital death are very different yet similar in many ways. Digital death is an end of our online life. I strongly believe that internet is an ecosystem and we all are part of it, willingly or otherwise. Very much like the real world, decisions about our assets and affairs are taken by the people we left behind. And it makes sense if the same thing happened in case of digital death.
Our digital life is comprised of of Social media accounts and activities, our email addresses, subscription and many other online services that we consume. So in case the inevitable happens, what then? It made me think, and after some web surfing I realized that you can find solutions online. For example, Facebook provides you an option of nominating someone as a legacy contact. This contact will have access to your account and will have the responsibility to manage the account. Here’s a screenshot of my legacy contact.
Apart from Facebook you have many other online services available that will look after your passwords of your account when you no longer be able to. Legacy Locker (Now PasswordBox) is one such tool that lets you save passwords and pass them on to your appointed contact when you fail to confirm with them that you’re still alive.
Digital death is not just a technical concept that is difficult to understand but also a can be emotional as it feels a lot like planning your death in advance. People might perceive digital death differently as most people are not aware of it. However, planning your digital death may give your loved once an option to manage your online life too after your gone. Digital Death, although a relatively new concept, I believe will catch on sooner than later.