A morbid thought on the Future, Social Media, Data & Digital Family Trees

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I was wondering last night, when I am 90 years old and I die hopefully of natural causes, I am going to leave all this data behind. Pages from Facebook and Twitter. I hope my accounts stay” as is”, but I think memorializing an account in the future won’t be that simple, especially for rich, famous people. It will be equivalent to an estate or a will. There will always be interests from a 3rd party on how we all should be remembered.

By then there will be all these laws that protect these big social media companies, just like banks now and allow them to  sell the accounts back to a family to make more money or just preserve them through lots of fees and some complex legal process.  Then, my great grandchildren can read  all my tweets, find out what my interests were and look at all my pictures and see if I was related to any other people with other preserved accounts too.  I think after awhile, it would get boring. But, everyone would have their virtual tribute. With enough money, the newer generations wouldn’t just be an administrator of their account, but for  a whole family tree of accounts that were once owned by their relatives many years before.  It would be a really a morbid Timeline to some. But, a true learning experience to others.

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Social Media is preserving history and is recording it more accurately. Maybe in the future, when really smart, important, rich people leave their fortunes, mansions and money to their families, some will also have to leave the keys to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Social Media is important to us now, when we are alive and well. But, will social media remain just as  important to us when we are old or to our survivors? When we are on our death beds, will these types of decisions have to be made?   Right now, our social media accounts are the virtual roots of our family tree.

We are the  first generation of social media users. Sure, we post pictures of our babies and friends, but what about the people that have a very limited time being here?  Maybe we have an older relative, or a very sick friend with no social media or digital footprint at all. Besides going to an hour long funeral or spending time before their last days…How could we pay tribute to them and make their lives immortal through social media? Maybe all we have is old photo albums, or used i-phones. Where can we go and digitize the milestones and moments in their lives, celebrate their life and share those moments across our current networks of family and friends? That exact memorialized account will be waiting there for future connections and family members with future facebook accounts to see and experience. Eventually photo albums will go obsolete and more people will turn to some kind of digital platform meant for preserving and saving memories that will ultimately be held accountable by the surviving family members..

I keep hearing, “the Internet is Forever.” And if the majority of people will want to preserve their digital lives and the ones around them, who’s decision will it be to make sure it’s executed? We should use our existing photos and videos and put them to good use and find someone in our lives that we can celebrate right here and right now.

Here is my business idea:

I would like to start a service called, “Virtual Tribute,” or “Immortalized”- where I use your existing data from your iphone, photo album or computer, mainly photos hat leads up to an event or milestone of the present.  It could be an expecting mother’s due date, or a son or daughter’s wedding. Maybe a 50th anniversary or a grandmothers 90th birthday. Maybe a son’s first day of school or college graduation. Or a life of someone that has passed. Instead of reading an obituary and reading the achievements and milestones of someone’s life, why not visualize it? Let’s dedicate a majority of our social media experience to others, not ourselves.

My Services would ensure a real, customized, personable story TOLD by you. Not a picture worth a thousand words with different interpretations, or a thousand pictures that are only seen once or twice but a video that speaks the right words. A real collaborative effort to make sure what is told, is told accurately and can be told again and again.

Maybe in the future, when really smart, important, rich people leave their fortunes, mansions and money to their families, some will also have to leave the keys to their Facebook accounts. Social Media is important to us now, when we are alive and well. But, will social media remain just as important to us when we are old and our survivors are asking us for the keys? Eventually photo albums will go obsolete and more people will turn to some kind of digital platform meant for preserving and saving memories that will ultimately be held accountable by the surviving family members. When Facebook accounts of the deceased get deleted or deactivated.. what does one do? When memories are in boxes what does one do? While we all are grieving, who can we turn to and celebrate and share a life or an event in a timely manner? Everyone deserves their own virtual tribute..

Some problems that might arise, is the use of somebody else’s data. Once I find my customers, I will not share their virtualized tribute to get new business. I won’t advertise it, post it on Facebook or Youtube without their permission.  Once the video is complete, it is out of my hands and you can decide what you want to do with it.

To give you a better idea, here is a video I made and shared on Facebook.

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10 thoughts on “A morbid thought on the Future, Social Media, Data & Digital Family Trees

      1. i can’t imagine my future family getting to look at all my stuff. nut i guess we should conduct ourselves in such a way that it wouldn’t bother us.

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    1. Robert, I certainly hope you leave behind your blog “yelling quietly” my friend. Imagine….what your ” last posts or comments” would be….??? So dark….sorry

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  1. I guess, in a sense, we will all live on. It’s quite fascinating but for someone who doesn’t like to expose much, it could be scary.

    Like

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