Have you ever wondered what would happen to your social media accounts if you were to die tomorrow? You are certainly not alone if you answered ‘no’. A survey carried out by The Digital Legacy Association in 2017 showed that 84% of respondents had made no plans for their social media accounts following their death and that only 3% of those asked had made a ‘social media will’.
A whopping 67% of the entire UK population uses some form of social media. This is no longer the domain of the young, tech-savvy generations. Chances are you will have some form of social media account be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, Pinterest or Instagram. Stored within is a very personal snapshot of your life forming part of your digital footprint. If we take Facebook as an example, your posts, photos, videos, page likes and interactions with friends form a record of your life. What will happen to all of those precious memories when you are no longer around?
Whilst each social media organisation has their own protocol surrounding the death of a user, your options broadly fall into three categories: delete, deactivate or memorialise.
- When you delete an account everything is erased and cannot be restored – however you do have the option to download your data prior to deleting the account.
- By deactivating an account you are essentially suspending it – everything is still there but cannot be seen by other users. A deactivated account can be reactivated at any time.
- The final option is to create a memorialised account to keep your original posts and photos visible but nothing can be altered. It can also become a place for friends and family to gather and share memories on your wall after you have passed away.
- Each person will have their own preference as to how they want their social media accounts to be handled. This is a very personal choice and how you have used social media will play a big part in helping you decide the way forward. It is worth looking at each of your accounts individually and creating a plan on a case by case basis.
Biscuit Tin allows you to securely store all of your social media account details (excluding passwords) alongside your future wishes for each account. Not only will this help simplify the process for your loved ones but it will also ensure that your wishes are heard.