The other day I listened to a philosophical talkshow on Swedish Radio, discussing what to do with social media accounts after someone dies. The topic caught my interest, as I had recently had reason to wonder about that myself.
Last year, an old childhood friend of mine died. Not a very close friend; but in later years we were also friends on Facebook. Her daughter (whom I never met) then used her mum's Facebook account to inform friends of her death and funeral. That I felt was a good idea, as I for one (living in a different city and not in touch with any other mutual old friends) probably wouldn't have heard of it otherwise, until long afterwards.
However, just recently (some eight months or so later) I suddenly also got FB notices of greetings left for my deceased friend on her (still open) Facebook wall by friends/family on her birthday. I have to confess that felt a bit weird. ("Happy birthday" - "Thinking of you" - "Miss you") Looking at my list of friends on FB, she is also still there just as when she was still alive. I suppose I can change my own settings - but then I found myself hesitating wondering if I should completely "unfriend" her?? ... Hm, in a way I guess I understand if it's even harder for the next of kin to decide!
The radio program did not really give any answers as to a 'right' or 'wrong' way to deal with these things either; they just stated the fact that the internet has not only changed our lives, but also how we deal with death - and our memories of our dear departed ones. We used to think of people as leaving Earth and going to Heaven... Now, there is also - apparently - the possibility to just stay in the Cloud... (Pretty much like the rest of us!)
One of my own thoughts while listening was that Facebook (and similar) may be more problematic than a blog; because of the possibility often left open on FB for friends to post things to someone's "wall" as well as just commenting. With a blog, perhaps it feels more natural to just leave it? (But I've also seen examples of a wife or husband taking over and continuing.)
One speculation in the radio program was that in the future, the providers of the various internet services might set a time limit for how long accounts belonging to dead people will be stored in the Cloud - as even digital data does actually require storage space.
(I'm thinking I should probably do some more thinking, and write some of my own thoughts on things like this down while I'm still capable of thinking...)