When I have time and the creative juices are oozing, I write several blogs then schedule them throughout the month. That way I can travel or sloth around in slippers without ever turning on the computer. And now I’ve realized it’s a way to speak from the afterlife. BWHAAA HAAA HAAA!
You know how I hate change, but I think I have a way to make this altered technology work for me. I can schedule posts into the year 2909… living on the grid…but not with a beating heart or aspirating lungs.
This epiphany came about from an article in the Oregonian (June 28) concerning legislation being drafted to allow family members access to deceased relatives’ virtual assets.
Numerous situations are occurring in which someone goes to the great beyond leaving behind family photos on Flickr, e-mail bills, or possibly a Facebook page full of derogatory comments from people who weren’t so fond of the deceased (Note to self: deactivate FB page.)
Online companies guard passwords and contents as though it were the Constitution: Look at the public stuff, but don’t touch. (See some of the post-mortem policies below.) As in the case of an Oregon schoolteacher who tried to access her son’s account after he died in a motorcycle accident. It took a 2 year legal battle for FB to grant her 10 months of access before shutting down the account.
If you conduct your banking on-line, pay e-mail bills, and e-trade with the talking baby, you could be in trouble if zombies attack, meteors hit, or you happen to pass to the afterlife in the next hour, day, or year.
Panicked yet? Well lawyers are hoping you’re motivated to at least leave an instruction sheet with your will, designating a trusted person access to user names and passwords for each of your accounts, along with instructions of what to do—like save the hidden off-shore fortune and delete the pictures of the 2011 Naked Bicycle Ride. Put it with your will, so it’s enforced at confirmation of your death.
There are companies who will warehouse your passwords for you and follow your
post-life instructions, but some attorneys caution against these companies. What if they go out of business? And do you really want your most sensitive information kept by some guy in on-line storage?
I’m looking at my virtual assets differently. Since I don’t have schlock besides the treasures in the Souvenir Shop (see tab above), I’m using the afterlife to nag great-great grandchildren with posts scheduled in the future. Heck, I’ll even commemorate my birthday each year until people say, “Who was that old gal and why’s she hosting an annual Snark-At-Your-Neighbor event?
Now all I have to do is sit down and write 4,703 posts.
To perpetuity and beyond!!!
Here are abbreviated policies. For more details contact the company:
Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo will deactivate accounts with death certificates, written requests, and notarized statements indicating relationship to the deceased. The account simply stops. They do not grant access to the accounts.
Facebook: Memorializes the account, making it visible only to friends who can leave remembrance posts. With proper paperwork the account can be deleted…but access is not granted to the content.
Google: Let’s just say it’s a lengthy process; requiring many legal documents, a formal petition and a second step that could require a court order to access content.
WordPress: I’m still waiting to hear from them.
In other words…what are you planning for your online afterlife?