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Social Media and Death

social media and deathThis past year, a friend from high school passed away. We hadn’t kept in touch over the years, but he was just one of those people I have fond memories of. When I saw the message from a friend on Facebook, my heart sank. Even though it has been 17 years, I could see who he was on his Facebook profile.

Yes, our friendship was no long IRL – it was a virtual friendship and his death unfolded before me all on his Facebook wall. First it was the photos and videos. Then as word quickly spread, there were the messages from friends – new and old and from his family. Heartbreaking. (And of course, there is that one person commenting under sad messages asking how did he die.)

Social media and death, what happens to us active on social media after we die? Here are a few things to know (including how to tweet from the grave):

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  • Facebook 1 of 5
    Facebook
    If a loved one passes, you can fill out a form requesting their account be changed to a memorial status. You can either have the account deleted or just placed where no one can login, but friends and family can still leave messages. Unfortunately, if someone leaves an inappropriate message, it cannot be deleted on a memorialized account.
    Click Here to Learn More
  • Yahoo 2 of 5
    Yahoo
    According to WSJ, you will need to put specifically in your estate if you wish for your loved ones to have access to your Yahoo account. This includes mail and photos.
    Learn More at WSJ
  • Microsoft 3 of 5
    Microsoft
    Though not specified what the appropriate documentation is -- Microsoft states with "appropriate documentation" it will give next of kin the deceased's email on discs.
  • Dead Social 4 of 5
    Dead Social
    Tweet and Facebook from the grave! Read my review of Dead Social.
  • Password Spread Sheet 5 of 5
    Password Spread Sheet
    Call me old school, but I have nothing to hide from my husband. I have a spread sheet with a list of passwords for him to have should he ever need to get into any of my accounts, dead or alive -- including my e-Harmony account (kidding).

Have You Had Any Experience With Someone Close to You Dying and Social Media?

Read more from Molly at Digital Mom Blog where she blogs technology, parenting and geekery.

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