What happens to your social networks after you die?
Google has come up with another possible answer. The online giant has cooked up an Inactive Account Manager to help you "plan your digital afterlife." The feature, which can be accessed through your Google Accounts settings page, allows you to choose whether you want to have your data -- like your Gmail messages and Gchats -- deleted after three, six, nine, or 12 months of inactivity. The feature also allows you to choose whether you want a trusted contact to receive information from (but not control of) your Google-owned services like Blogger, Google Drive, Picasa, YouTube, and more.
But to be fair, Google is only one among many services that promise your social life, well, a second life.
There's also the bluntly-named DeadSocial, a service that "enables us to create a series of secret messages that are only published to our social networks once we pass away." This animated video demonstrate how DeadSocial allows you to comfort and/or completely %^ing terrify those you left behind with Facebook messages, tweets, LinkedIn messages, video, or audio messages sent after your demise.
If you want to focus on just Facebook, then check out IfIDie. It's another service that lets people create messages to be sent after death. This Facebook app allows its users to create video or text messages for Facebook friends to read after you've, say, drowned while attempting to save a baby in a monsoon or finally succumbed to a lifetime diet of Funyuns, Mountain Dew, and crystal meth in your grandmother's basement.
Or are you more of a Twitter peep who wants to continue broadcasting puns and pithy observations after you've died? LivesOn ("When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting"), is an experiment and "ongoing beta test" that hopes to afford users the option of having a functioning Twitter account after death, using your own likes and writing voice as a guide. LivesOn's Twitter account says it will use "genetic algorithms" and "your own feedback" to learn each individual's taste and style, with the goal of creating "a useful tool for the living -- you basically incubate an online 'twin' that can then find stuff online for you."
Facebook's official stance is to allow those close to a deceased user to either permanently delete an account -- countless photos of red cups and duck face forever lost -- or convert the account into an online memorial, instituting changes such as removing contact information and status updates from the user's profile.
In short: Your online life doesn't have to die when your, like, actual life does. Alternatively, you can take steps now to ensure your Glee live tweets won't linger online once you're gone.
No word yet on what will happen to your dating profile on HorseLuversConnectXXX.