(Paul Silver, 2008, retrieved from http://www.paulsilver.co.uk/blog/2008/10/death-and-social-media/)
"The social networks have a problem, in the case of a member dying, they need to satisfy both the wishes of the next of kin and family, and those of their friends on the network. Frankly, this is no-win situation for the site. People grieve in different ways, some people will want the person’s profile taken down, others will want it to stay up, forever. If a profile stays up, is that good or bad? Do people want a constant reminder of the loss of a loved one? Their profile and comments will always look fresh, keep up to date with the latest site design, their profile picture never ages. Will this prevent us from properly moving on and coping with the death of a loved one?"
With services and tools online sometimes requiring very "real world" payments or costs to users, discussions regarding the handing of "digital assets" in the event of ones death is going to continue to receieve increasing attention and debate. This topic is obviously one where personal opinion and individual chose is going to vary greatly from one person to the next.
"Families are starting to learn that there's no easy solution for accessing online communication channels used by deceased loved ones.
"Email addresses for contacts that would like to be notified of a death, family photos that family members would like to export from online accounts and balances of cash sitting unclaimed in online services like PayPal or eBay are just a few examples of the kinds of assets that are all too often lost upon a death."
- Marshall Kirkpatrick, ReadWriteWeb
Do you have an email account? Or two? Or three? Do you buy or sell stuff with eBay, Amazon, PayPal, Yahoo! Stores, or elsewhere? Do you blog, or use Twitter, or put up videos on YouTube? Do you share or backup photos with Flickr, Photobucket, Snapfish, Kodak Gallery, or Shutterfly? Do you maintain your identity at LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, or Plaxo? Do you have credits in the iTunes store, or at PartyPoker.com?
Think about all the time you spend online these days, and how important and valuable these sites and services are to you and your family. It's not fun to think about, but the reality is in the event of your death most of these companies and services have no provision for passing your account onto your loved ones (even a will doesn't help!). Legacy Locker is the best way to guarantee access to your online accounts for all of the people you think should receive them, be it a spouse, child, friend or colleague.