Monday, December 07, 2009

What Happens to My Social Media Accounts When I'm Gone?

I'm reading: What Happens to My Social Media Accounts When I'm Gone?Tweet this!

And I mean real, real gone, like no longer alive. It's an odd question to ponder in midst of so much holiday cheer, so let me explain:

The other day I was searching around for a contact at a local company on LinkedIn. Among the results I saw the name of a friend of a friend. I shuddered when I saw her name. This woman was listed as the manager of online marketing with a comfortable tenure of over 3.5 years on the job. Only, she's been deceased for about three of those years.

A scene from poltergeist flashes in my head, "They never moved the bodies!" I feel the need to wash my eyeballs. Instead, I Tweet my creepy find. Then, following advice from a Twitter friend I alert the folks at LinkedIn about the situation.

Another Twitter friend mentions the need for social media moms like us to include some instructions in our wills regarding these various accounts. (You're a parent; please tell me you have a will.) To some that might come off as cheeky, but for me and my ilk, social networking is serious business. Literally. Sure, we use social networking for fun and personal support, but we also use it to connect with clients.

Friends, clients, no matter, the fact is I have several blog accounts, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account, a Parentella account, a Big Tent account, not to mention PayPal, as well as various subscriptions and site registrations. Along with these various accounts, I have a range of passwords. NONE OF WHICH ARE WRITTEN DOWN.

You heard me. I'm awesome like that.

The folly of this has occurred to me. Even before this morning, say I slipped and took a tumble, I'd have a passing thought of, "What if I hit my head when I fell and passed out and didn't remember my user names and password combos when I came to?"

Like I said, I'm awesome like that. Anyway, I guess I'm adding another to-do to my list. What about you?


Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom said...

Funny you should mention this...I was thinking the same thing.

With my surgery next week I was thinking "What if I can never blog again?"

My husband would have no clue how to log on and write a post saying as such!

But really I'd be doing a good to have a list of account numbers and bills for him to access.

Maybe we should have a buddy system in place for blogging moms so that someone can access our accounts should something happen.

And yes, we have a will.

RL Julia said...

My cousin died a few weeks ago and I'd love to figure out how to get her Facebook account closed out. It completely weirds me out the way Facebook keeps asking me to recommend more friends for her....

Kim Moldofsky said...

Leighann- good luck with your surgery. Yes, write those passwords down for the hubs! I've thought about this in regards to Anissa, too. I truly appreciate Peter's updates via her existing accounts.

IRL Julia- I'm sorry to learn about your cousin's death.I'm guessing if you contact Facebook customer service they can help. Many relatives choose to keep up Facebook pages as sort of an ongoing memorial. There might even be some type of legacy status that can be arranged. (Oh, this is no doubt fodder for a bad joke or two. Sorry, I'm being insensitive.)

LinkedIn asked me to provide any of the following:

1. Email address for the account of the deceased member.
2. Name of a person that invited the deceased member to join.
3. Approximate date the deceased member’s account was opened.
4. Contact information for a family member to confirm.
5. Date of Death.
6. Obituary for the deceased member.

I understand that they need facts. They cannot have people going around trying to shut down accounts from competitors or whatnot. In this case, however, I don't have any of that info.

kristina said...

This is a good point. I really haven't thought about what happens to these accounts after death. My husband could probably access most of my accounts. As far as passwords, I can't keep up with myself and forget to write things down.

Shari said...

There was an article about this recently. It's a huge problem because only the owners of the accounts can determine what to do with the account.

2KoP said...

OMG, I've been having these same morbid thoughts. It's so weird. I've set up a couple of accounts for clients, as well, and I have to make sure they know how to access everything before I … you know … go.

Meowmie said...

I've thought about this. I've been on livejournal since 2004 and though I guess news would go round my friends if anything should happen to me (knock on wood), there is nobody I could get to close or whatever the account. Ditto other blogs.

Christie-The ChatterBox said...

My sister has an envelope that is only to be opened if something happens to me. Along with financial and other emergency info are my user names and passwords for the majority of my online accounts and sites (the important ones anyway). I guess I was forward thinking after all! Who knew!

kimberly/tippytoes said...

Great post - I'd never thought about this. Thankfully my passwords are saved and my husband used to work as a hacker, so he *should* be able to figure it out (but I'm going to write it down just in case).