What do you want to happen to your Facebook profile after you die?

What’s Your Preference? What do you want to happen to your Facebook profile. Should it:

  1. be turned into a memorial
  2. be archived
  3. be deleted
  4. something else?

Let us know what you think.

    About John Romano

    John is an award-winning interaction designer and an ardent cultural observer. His fascination: the mass adoption of digital communication tools and the change they are having on the way we interact with each other and the way we view ourselves. When he isn't contemplating on how to achieve immortality, he is either designing interactive projects at Capstrat in Raleigh, building stuff in the garage with his boy, or wandering off the beaten path on a motorcycle. Contact him at .

    12 Responses to What do you want to happen to your Facebook profile after you die?

    1. Virginia Ingram January 15, 2010 at 6:52 am #

      Stay active, but with a reduced friend list of the people that were closest to me. That way they can leave me messages and no one will judge them. It will be good therapy for a while. And I am still a part of their lives, just not creating content anymore.

    2. Evan Carroll January 15, 2010 at 9:58 am #

      That’s an interesting point–I never thought of a reduced friend list. I’m pretty sure I want mine to become a memorial, but now I’m considering a reduced set of friends, too.

    3. John Romano January 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

      Response from Facebook:

      Ben: Whatever makes my passing easier for my loved ones.

      John: Using it as a memorial seems a popular way for people to grieve

      Mordent: 1.) with the caveat that I want my friends to use the 3 grand I left in my Will to go to the beach and have a two day Bonfire party…. use the page to coordinate. :)

    4. Resa Daniels October 10, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

      Well, I hope the fact that I recently reduced the number of my fb friends from over 500 to just over 150 (just close friends and relatives), as well as recently pondering on what happens to someone’s online presence/work after they die (hence me being here on this site now), doesn’t mean that I’m dying soon or anything. LoL. But if that were to happen, I would want all my close friends and relatives to use my fb as a memorial, but with a twist! I would like to somehow come up with a way to generate an automatic response replier app that sends pre-written notes from me (ie. “I love you too” or “I miss you”)…it would be kind of eerie, but they would know ahead of time that I was enrolled in the afterlife app. I wish I knew how to come up with something like that.

    5. William Goldman January 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      There’s a company called Remembered.com that lets you create memorials on Facebook based on a profile. They have both a Facebook version and non-Facebook version so it can be shared with friends and family.

      Here’s the url Remembered.com – Memorial Websites

    6. Jan January 9, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      Definitely as a memorial…a place where people (friends and family) can come and leave messages, talk to each other and just reminisce. Not that there are that many folks that would ‘attend’, but it would be a place to ‘gather’.

    7. Jan January 9, 2011 at 8:37 am #

      Additional point: ultimately, I would want my daughter and partner to have final access to my Facebook page to go thru and collect all my pictures, etc.

    8. Evan Carroll January 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      William, Thanks for sharing. I’ll add the site to our services list (http://www.thedigitalbeyond.com/online-services-list/) as soon as I can.

      Jan, Thanks for your thoughts as well. Situations like yours are exactly why Facebook should give users more control and predictability.

    9. Kathleen Hershner January 11, 2011 at 11:44 am #

      I’m listening to your NPR interview and found my way to your website from their article….very compelling topic – something I thought about a lot 2 years ago after a friend of mine died at 51 – a total shock. SHe was active on Facebook and her husband couldn’t delete her Facebook account because she didn’t give him her password and FB wouldn’t delete it. So, all of her friends were treated to a ‘Paula wants to connect with you”, or ‘you haven’t connected with Paula lately,,,connect with her now!”…I mean, it was REALLY disturbing, as you can imagine.

      I’ll post a link to your book on my FB fan page so that people can start to think about what to do about their digital lives..thanks!

    10. John Romano January 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

      Jan,
      There is a function in Facebook to download all your content at once. In “Account settings”, there is an option to “Download your information.” The problem is that only a person logged into your account can download your data. Once a FB account is memorialized, this feature most likely be disabled.

    11. John Romano January 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

      Kathleen, your story is unfortunately very common. FB created the memorialized profile for just that reason.

    12. Kyung Javis February 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

      This is a very intriguing post, I was looking for this knowledge. Just so you know I found your blog page when I was researching for blogs like mine, so please check out my site sometime and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

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