This article explores one intriguing story of digital life after death as we might know it in years to come!
There are projections that the Internet will become akin to electricity — less visible but more deeply ingrained in people’s lives for good and for worse. One aspect that is also predicted to be integrated into technology is our afterlife through ‘digital life.’
What is Digital Life?
What does it convey to live a ‘digital life’? A digital life (or digital presence) can encompass many different things. For example, it could mean constantly browsing social media, checking email on one’s phone, or shopping online. The impact of digital life has changed dramatically over the past few decades.
Many people work on computers in our modern world, and everyone constantly checks their mobile phones. We can barely imagine life without all those gadgets we rely on every day. Online activities, such as conversations on Facebook, can affect people’s truth and trust. Physical as well as emotional factors can affect an individual’s well-being.
• The digital life will continue to be what people make of it. Humans must make responsible decisions while partnering with technology to shape a better future.
• Life in the digital age will be more tailored to the individual than one-size-fits-all.
• Access to more Internet could further disrupt existing social and political power structures, potentially reducing inequality and creating more opportunities for individuals.
Why Digital Life is Important
Digital life is becoming more and more integrated into daily life. Currently, social networks are used by nearly 54 percent of the global population. We cannot escape technology; life without technology would be meaningless in today’s dynamic world.
The aim of technology, which incorporates tools to promote development, use, and information exchange, is to make tasks more accessible and solve many social problems. The closer we get to the digital age, the more we become dependent on technology. What Will Happen To Your Digital Life After Death?
It’s never easy to confront our mortality or the death of someone we love. The digitalization of our lives has added new aspects, such as what happens to our online identities after we die, that we need to understand. Individuals could take practical steps to avoid losing their customers, but online companies should provide sensitive options to avoid losing customers.
How people cope with death varies, and increasingly, that way is digital. Yet dying in the digital era raises new ethical and practical questions that businesses and individuals must address. A complex issue that involves heightened emotions and errors that can hinder people’s well-being requires nuance and empathy. But can the digital world compensate for these challenges?
How To Compose Your Digital Presence For A Digital Afterlife
There are instructions in many social networks’ help documents and terms and conditions regarding what to do in the event of a death. Generally, death certificates and documents proving your Executor’s control over your estate are required by most entities.
A legacy contact can now be designated on Facebook who will be responsible for closing an account or memorializing it upon the account holder’s death. In your will, you should specify who will be the Executor of your estate so that they may have access to your digital credentials.
Many social media providers are moving toward creating a ‘Memorium‘ page, so you don’t have to be removed entirely. However, the site will maintain a page for you, which will remain long after your death and ensure that you are taken care of in the social part of your digital afterlife.
It is common for relatives to think that a memorial page will be better than deleting you from the web, but do you agree? You should tell them if you want just a peaceful rest if that’s what you want.
If your digital data stops pulsing after a certain period, an Inactive Account Manager is granted access to your account. LinkedIn is drafting a policy that will allow an account to be memorialized, and it has agreed at the request of its users.
Sorting through a loved one’s photos, letters, and belongings can bring great comfort to some. Additionally, it raises a practical question – who should have access to our digital selves after we die? Would their permission be required? Should family members be able to read old letters and documents digitally to discover things we wish to keep private, just as reading old letters and documents might reveal personal details?
Although the law is not clear in these cases, it is understandable. In an individual situation, you can make sure only selected people have your passwords (or password manager access) and know how you want your data handled.
Existing Policy On Social Network Sites
• A copy of the death certificate and other pertinent information must be provided to Twitter by the estate executor or verified immediate family member to deactivate an account.
• There are two options on Facebook. While the account remains locked, users can still post comments, photos, and links. It allows profiles to be turned into memorials. It also offers the option to remove the account upon special request by an immediate relative or Executor.
• A new feature called “inactive account manager” was recently rolled out by Google. The feature prompts users to select the fate of their accounts if they die. If the account user does not make a selection, Google’s policies are pretty strict. Surviving family members are warned that accessing a deceased person’s email account will only be possible “in rare cases.”
As the world is constantly changing, new-age startups are coming up with innovative ideas. One such idea is “Death is not Forever”; companies build digital avatars so people can ‘live after death.’
Create Living Avatars for Dead People
The idea of “digital immortality” refers to the theoretical concept of storing (or transferring) a person’s personality in digital form. This might result in an avatar behaving, reacting, and thinking like that person based on the digital archive.
After the person’s death, this avatar could remain static or continue learning and improving alone. Our fear of being forgotten or disappearing might be the most potent motivating factor.
Extending our life expectancy is one thing; reviving the dead is another. Rather than rely on medical innovations to prevent death, it is contended that we should rely on robotics, artificial intelligence, and other technologies to create an everlasting version of ourselves. At the intersection of technology and consciousness, we must examine topics such as machine consciousness and artificial intelligence.
Futurists and neuroscientists have been fascinated for years by the theory that humans will eventually be able to upload their brains to computers. We could live forever by transferring our minds into machines, freed from the limitations of our physical bodies. We would no longer have concepts of death and bereavement.
Artificial intelligence and virtual reality allow people to converse with their virtual beings. A virtual avatar or hologram can be a calming presence for people who have lost loved ones. One can ask questions of departed family members using audio-video recordings, speech recognition software, and machine learning technologies.
This is done by collecting data on a person’s digital footprint, including words, photos, videos, texts, and content shared on social networking sites. From this raw material, an avatar can be created.
In essence, the goal is to create a digital twin, or clone, of the user that can learn from and grow with the user as it grows, referencing the once-popular electronic toy displaying the digital image of a creature that had to be cared for by its owner like a real pet.
Although many people may blanch at communicating with late loved ones, there is nothing “inherently wrong” with wanting to preserve their memories. Seeing our beloved ancestors’ faces come to life lets us imagine how they might have been in reality and provides a profound new way of connecting to our family history.
Since you are aware that the person has gone, you accept the virtual equivalent as what it is – a comforting vestige. This isn’t unethical or wrong.