Social media became heavily popular in the early 2000’s when MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster were launched. These sites allowed users to communicate in other ways besides email. Today, there are tons of different kinds of social networking websites. However, Facebook, Twitter, and Google remain of the most popular. These networking sites allow users to communicate in different ways. Google focuses more on email and/or chat, while Facebook and Twitter allow users to communicate with one another with “statuses” and “tweets,” respectively. These social media sites recently took it a step further and introduced ways of tweeting and messaging after death. By allowing this to happen, are companies just really desperate to keep their social media outlets buzzing with posts from the dead?
Google introduced the Google Inactive Account Manager or what it has been called lately, “Google Death Manager.” Those that are heavily involved with social media accounts probably have wondered what happens to their account after they pass. Google has a plan for those that care what will happen to their Google services such as Gmail, Blogger, Google Drive, Google+, Google Voice, and so on. Basically, you have two choices. You can either either pass on your “digital life” to someone you trust, or you can simply set up a time of inactivity. You can choose from one, three, six, nine, or 12 months. If you happen to not login in the certain amount of time you chose, then Google will either contact/alert 10 of your trusted contacts (and share your data with them) or you can simply have it set up to delete your account. Personally, I think this is not a bad idea at all. If someone disappears or dies suddenly, maybe there is information in their Google account that will help solve the case. I support privacy in every aspect all the way, but this can really help in a time of need.
Next, Facebook has introduced an app called “Ifidie” that allows users to send messages to your friends after your death. I believe the If I die app is a bit too much. The Facebook administraters post a public Facebook message or send out private message to specific people. The admin are allowed to do this once at least three of the trusted friends you choose report your death to the Facebook service. I understand we are in the digital era, however, I believe this is just too much. Again, is this to keep the buzz going?
Twitter has also introduced social media after death with _LivesOn. This is a tool that monitors your Twitter habits and patterns then after your death, it will continue Tweet for you.
Perhaps social networking after death is for those who are more comfortable with death. Personally, I think these companies are trying to get the buzz however they can. Would you like to be active on social media even after your death?