What Happens to Your Online Life When You Die?

By the time you die, you’ll have left 15,795 twits on Twitter, 415 Facebook messages for each year of your life, and anything you left on a cloud will become the property of the folks who run the cloud. They can do anything they want with it. Your ancestors may get a kick traveling back in time to see you and hear from you, but are you sure you didn’t post any pix from that “business trip” to Vegas? Watch a great animation we found to find out what will not be interred with your bones but, for good or ill, will live after you….

The End is Coming


I’m sure that the Australia 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.



  1. Maggie

    Wow. Thanks, Ron, for posting this. It is good info and definitely food for thought – if for no other reason than the idea that we could be re-created as a hologram a hundred years from now based upon our social media input. What a mind-expanding idea…and a bit sobering.

  2. Mark Miller

    Far more horrifying (to me) is what happens to my on-line life while I’m still ALIVE! After some due diligence, I made the decision a couple years ago to just say NO to Facehole.

  3. James Smith

    Thanks for providing even more reasons for never being on Facebook or Twitter. I will never be on either one. They are there to collect your personal information and sell it to anyone that asks for it. Google is the same only far worse. “When the ‘service’ is free, the product is you.”

    • Steve Krause

      You know what James… That’s a great line. I’m going to steal that if you don’t mind.

      When the ‘service’ is free, the product is you.”

      • James Smith

        Feel free, Steve. It isn’t my line. I read it somewhere else, but I forget where or exactly when.

    • ferricoxide

      Yet, you’ve established a profile with which to comment on various sites’ forums…

      • James Smith

        But I do not put every detail of my life on line for Google to sell. I put nothing on line for anyone to use that I do not wish to share with the world.

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