What Happens to your Facebook When You Die?

What happens to Facebook when your dead

Have you ever wondered “What happens to my Facebook when I am dead?” With 74% of “online Adults” using Facebook, you can’t simply ignore this morbid, yet necessary question. Does it even matter? Well, surprisingly yes. Due to the major cyber security issues your family could face if not dealt with properly, you want to ensure that you know what will happen to your Facebook long after you’ve “Logged Off” in this life.So, what happens? Well, that depends on your Facebook settings. Depending on a user’s specific settings, Facebook offers a few options:

  • Delete the Profile- Option one is to delete the profile entirely, wiping out years of memories with it. This seems a bit harsh for family left behind who may wish to take trips down memory lane, but hey sometimes the best way to leave this life is delete everything else as you go.
  • Memorialize the Profile- Memorializing a profile essentially freezes the account which would still allow friends to view photos and memories, but prevent the profile from popping up in timeline feeds, recommended friends and Birthdays. Another cool feature about the memorializing option is Facebook will add “Remembering” next to the user’s name, making it clear that this is indeed a memorial page.
  • Do Nothing- The last option was to simply do nothing allowing the profile to live on forever, or at least until Facebook continues to exist.

Facebook recently rolled out what I believe is the best option, a Legacy Contact. A Legacy Contact is essentially your social media beneficiary, someone you appoint to look after your Facebook account after you have moved on. Now, there are precautions in place and your Legacy Contact won’t have full access to your account, but here are some examples of what a Legacy Contact can and can’t do:

Legacy Contact’s CAN

  • Write a pinned post that informs your friends of a final thought or of a memorial service that is taking place
  • Accept or deny any new friend requests
  • Update your profile picture and/or cover photo. Hopefully to nothing too embarrassing!

Legacy Contact’s CAN’T

  • Login to your profile accessing past messages, or send any new ones to friends
  • Change your photos (delete or add new ones)
  • Unfriend someone

The End of the Obituary?

Obituaries used to be the go to way of letting people know that a loved one has passed away. Send a note to your paper’s editor, wait until the following print and the word was out. Now, it was never guaranteed that family or friends would actually see the notification, but it was the best that people had at that time. Well, much like everything, the internet has changed even death. Facebook allowing a Legacy Contact to Pin a notification to the deceased’s wall digitizes the complete obituary process, besides making it much easier (and not to mention affordable) it also almost guarantees that the family and friends of the deceased will be notified of the impending memorial and untimely passing.

This is a nice feature for Facebook to add and If I were you, I’d take 5 minutes and make the change to my account. Find someone you trust, and assign them as your Legacy Contact because one thing is for certain. With all of the information that is online it’s important that you think about these things. Planning for your digital footprint these days is just as important as making sure you have your funeral insurance in place.

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