Websties for digtial end of life planning
So what services do these websites offer?
The short answer:
These websites enable you to make changes to your online presence after you die (such as deleting a specific folder from your email account or an entire social media account or creating messages to be sent posthumously).
And now the longer answer:
In recent years there is a growing awareness to consequences of the digital footprint people leave behind them after they die.
Your digital footprint is comprised of all of your online accounts and all of your digital assets, such as: email accounts (I don't know about you but currently I have *thousands* of emails in my Google account), social media profiles, amazon account, your e-books, photos on your phone and computer, music files etc. Unless otherwise indicated, after death all of these remain in the exact status as they were when the person was alive, meaning, either still active online (such as a Facebook profiles) or just unaccessible (such as one's email account or online banking profile).
One kind of emerging practice related to such digital remains is one of memorialisation. For example, a Facebook profile of a deceased user remains active and is transformed by his or her loved ones into a memorialisation page. Managing the online presence in this case is done by the family and friends of the deceased user.
Other emerging practices are designed to enable users to plan and prepare how they want (or don't want) to be active and present online after their death. For instance, a website that enables its users to create email messages to be sent after their passing according to specific dates specified by the users.
My project is focused on the latter type of online activity - that is - the practice of intentionally reflecting about and deciding how to be present online after passing.
If you have further questions about this, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this page.
About my project
This site is part of my PhD research project at LSE. My research looks at websites that enable users to plan and prepare their online presence after their death. I am interested in interviewing users of such websites and hearing about their thoughts and experiences. My project also includes interviews with designers and analysis of the platforms themselves.
Hello and thank you for your interest in my PhD project. My name is Paula Kiel. I am a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the Department of Media and Communications. Click here to view my personal page on the university website.
I am interested in digital media and in the life cycles of communication technologies. I look at how digital technologies take particular forms, and how they are used at different stages of our lives. In my current project, I am particularly interested in the question of digital legacies, and how people manage their digital life after death.
I currently live in London.