Cumberland Times-News

Community News Network

September 17, 2013

Your Facebook password belongs in your will

(Continued)

Risk No. 3: Losing Control of Your Personal Legacy

Steve found out about his mother's Facebook account several weeks after her death. He rarely uses social media, and he was surprised to learn his mother did. He waited several weeks before searching for her page, because he was fearful of what he might learn. For decades their relationship had been strained. When he was a child, she had left their family and moved several states away, leaving Steve to carry feelings of abandonment for most of his life. When she entered hospice care, he reluctantly agreed to move her into his home with his family and care for her in her final months. Small moments of reconciliation happened, but learning of the Facebook account made him realize there might be a lot he did not know.

Deep relief and quiet joy filled him as he read her public status updates expressing gratitude for her son's sacrifices for her. Because he was unaware of his mother's digital life while she was alive, Steve could not share in this powerful moment with her. On a positive note, Facebook enabled Steve to learn more about his mother's private experiences, which will, in turn, shape the story he tells of her life to his children. But what if he had discovered hurtful or confusing information? She would not have been there to confront, explain or repair the relationship. A painful gap would be left in her story — and in his life. Inspired by this experience, Steve and his wife have committed to inventorying their digital assets to spare their own children anxiety. They are also painfully conscious of how others might react to what they post about their own lives and they understand that, if something happens to them, the person managing their estates will need access to the good, the bad and the ugly in their online lives.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads