I’m sure that the Australia LifeInsuranceFinder.com didn’t have me in mind when they created the animation “Digital Death — What Happens Online When You Die.” I have no intention of dying, but in an academic sense, I found the cartoon informative and funny. (Actuaries always crack me up.)
Are you worried about any dirty laundry you stashed on the Internet? You should be. When you die–emphasis on “you”– if you have a lot of your personal information in a cloud, it becomes the property of whoever runs the cloud. They can do anything they want with it, including recreating a virtual you, maybe with you wearing your dirty laundry on the outside.
If you are the average Twitter user at 23 minutes a day on the service, by the time you can twit no more, you will have left 15,795 pieces of wisdom for future generations. Twitter will be happy to pass them on to the next of kin. Facebook will have 415 of your messages for each year of your life, including thousands of photos.
In fact, you will have left so much of yourself on the Internet, that once you’ve left this mortal coil, you won’t have left it entirely. There will be generous hunks of your words and thoughts, not to mention photos and videos of you, left behind for everyone, including those great-great-great-grandchildren, to get to know you. Find out what will not be interred with your bones but, for good or ill, will live after you.