Friday, August 23, 2013
Courtrooms across the nation are deciding the fate of online social media accounts with deceased owners. Many family members of deceased individuals are attempting to gain access to the deceased loved ones account. Some are trying to get answers while others are just trying to cherish our identities online. Experts say that an emotional attachment is developed to the social media sites of the deceased. Cyber anthropologist Michaelanne Dye states “People tend to go back to these pages on anniversaries, birthdays and holidays' as a way to keep a part of their loved one alive." Some people create new pages as memorial sites, which serves as an emotional outlet. Most of the time, friends and family will not try to wipe all digital traces of you. Therefore, creating a path so that loved ones can walk your online trail can help families cope with the loss.
See Carrie Arnold, How to Manage Your Digital Afterlife, Scientific American, Aug. 14, 2013.
Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.