What Happens To Our Facebook Account After We Are Gone?

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your Facebook account after you die?  Your email, website, and other accounts eventually deactivate, but did you ever think if Facebook does?

If you have been using your Facebook for a couple of years now, just like I have, you probably have at least one or two FB friends who have already left you for another world.  I do.  The reasons why they are gone vary.  One was taken by a tragic car accident; another lost a fight with cancer and the third no longer saw any reason to stay here with us and took her own life.  Their accounts are still active, pictures in order.
With the new settings on FB their old posts show up from time to time on my screen. 

I admit, when I saw it for the first time it freaked me out.  It freaked me out in a good way.  I thought to myself, “Hey, maybe they are not gone after all, they were just on vacation!”  How wonderful of a surprise that would be!  The reality hit me later as I was scrolling down their timeline, refreshing our last memories.  I knew exactly what their posts will show or say.

Our posts are parts of our lives and we all have our own signature posts.  And we all know that sometimes some posts annoy us dearly.  We open our page and wonder over and over:  How many times do I need to see her/his cat?  How many times do I need to see her/his baby?  How many times do I need to see his/her party, vacation, school, car, sport, moon, or whatever he/she is interested in?!  We all have those thoughts.  And we do not even realize how each of these posts is actually precious.

From time to time I read articles by those “experts” on what to post and what not to post on FB.  How often and in what order to make it interesting for others.  Which things are annoying and which will start a conversation (which was the original idea of FB).  I use to take those “experts” advice seriously and tried not to bore my FB friends with too many posts and too many pictures.  But lately I realized that there is no such a thing as a boring or annoying post!  I realized this after some of my friends are gone from FB forever and they will never ever post another one of their signature posts.  I am more than happy to go back to their timeline now and see all of their “annoying” posts.  It allows me a bit more time with them.  It allows me to not forget, to refresh my memories and the time we had together.  It reminds me of the interests we shared and it reminds me of the person I lost.  It reminds me of the fragility of life itself.  Most of all it allows me to grieve.  Uninterrupted.  I know I am not alone in this.  I see messages written all over their timelines, especially on their Birthdays, Name Days, or departure anniversaries.

That led me to a question.  How long will we be able to that?  How long will we be able to go back to our friend’s timeline and send them our love, our message?  I was very curious to know what is Facebook’s policy on accounts of deceased subscribers.  So I asked one of their representatives and got the answer.
If you wish to deactivate the account of your deceased loved one you have to present to Facebook a proof of death.  It is usually a death certificate and proof of your relationship to that subscriber.  You have to be related.  Otherwise the account will stay active “indefinitely forever”.  Facebook is only ten years old and did not develop any expiration deadline yet.  It may or may not become an issue later as years go on.  But for now it is the place not just for current events, but also for memories.

Therefore, my advice is this:  Let’s forget all of the “experts” who dictate to us what, when, and how to post.  Just post away!  If someone doesn’t like it they can hide it, limit it, or even unfriend us.  They have full control of what to view or not to view.  Let’s post for the rest.  Post for those who want to see and read all we have to say today, in case we are not here tomorrow.
KD
J