I had a conversation a few months back with a Huber Heights City Commissioner who is also an attorney. We were discussing various issues regarding end of life planning when he related a story about his brother.
His brother had a profuse online presence. He had many email accounts, social media accounts and the like, but there was one area that my friend noted a particularly large outpouring of grief and sentiment that my friend didn’t even know about: his brother was an online gamer. My friend’s sister-in-law had posted about her husband’s passing in one of the gaming forums associated with his game. My friend was amazed at the amount of people that expressed their condolences. It seems his brother had touched many lives that my friend was totally unaware of.
This conversation got me to thinking about my social online presence. When something happens to me, what would need to be done with all my online retail accounts, professional accounts, social media accounts, and email accounts? There are many decisions here to be made.
Online Retail Accounts: I shop and pay some of my bills online. These accounts would have to be closed. Which would mean that my user names and passwords would have to be available to my loved ones.
Professional Accounts: Over the years I have pursued many interests and joined many groups and associations for education, licensing and support. These would all have to be shut down. Again, user names and passwords would need to be listed.
Social Media Accounts: I have not yet decided what I would like done with Facebook and Twitter. Do I want the accounts closed? Do I want them set up as a place for friends to place remembrances? One thing I know for sure is, I would not want them to be forgotten. I had a neighbor pass a couple of years ago, and Facebook would occasionally suggest that I might like to add him as a friend. There’s a feeling I would not like to pass on to someone else!
Email Accounts: Are you like me and have created different email accounts for different purposes? I have one major personal one, and many others to cut down clutter in my main box. Some categories include:
- online marketing groups
In short, I have created several accounts for different situations, all assuming that an organization makes additional money selling email addresses to third parties. (SOMETHING THAT I DO NOT, NOR WILL NOT EVER DO TO MY PERSONAL LIST SUBSCRIBERS) It is not something that I condone, and not all groups do it, but I assume that they will. I would prefer to not have to wade through all that solicitation mail on a daily basis, so I give out different email addresses. Needless to say, these would be better shut down rather than just allowed to be cancelled for non-use.
These are all that I came up with while thinking about writing this post. I am sure I will come up with a lot more with some more thought. The point is, have you thought about it? The issue should be addressed to relieve the burden from your loved ones?
If you think of some I have missed, leave a comment so others can benefit.
If you would like a form with some areas listed with a place for your username and password, subscribe to my enewsletter and I will send you one.