Have you ever visited the Facebook page of someone who has passed away? It can be a place for friends and family to post memories of the deceased–or to scroll through their posts as a way to feel connected to their loved one.
This brings up interesting questions. This article, “Facebook’s Future As a Digital Graveyard” asks some of them such as: Will Facebook soon be more graveyard than social network? And what is our responsibility as a society to document this digital afterlife? Fascinating.
This brings me to questions of my own: What do I want my children and grandchildren to inherit? Besides some of my “stuff”–what sort of historical documentation would I like to pass down? If I’m currently using Facebook like a kind of public diary that documents my life–that sounds like something that future generations might find valuable. Kind of like being able to look through old journals and photo albums but less dusty, less subject to decay, and much more portable.
But is Facebook the best place for this? If you are using Facebook as a blogging platform; if you are a frequent poster who is basically documenting important moments of your life; if you’re recording your thoughts and reflections–then you may want to consider diversifying your digital legacy so that all your memories aren’t in one basket. How? There are lots of ways. I’ll offer just a couple ideas.
Start a blog. It doesn’t matter if people aren’t really reading it or following it–just use it in a way similar to the way you use Facebook. Think about it as a digital heirloom. You can still use Facebook by posting links to your blog–but now you’ve diversified, and are less dependent on a specific digital service.
And I’m just old-school enough to recommend self publishing your posts into actual books–like yearbooks or decade books. A couple years ago, I made a hardcover book out of my wife’s Instagram posts and gave it to her for Christmas. She was so happy she cried–a response that surprised me, and made me reflect on why this gift was so meaningful for her. What’s different about a book? A lot. (I used this tool, by the way.)