Facebook: Till Death Do Us Part

If I Die is a new application created for Facebook where you can leave a message behind in case you die. It works like this: you designate three trustees from your friend list who, in case you die, will confirm your death. After their confirmation, videos or new status post-mortem will begin to appear on your profile. The application received thousands of “likes” in the first days it was published. Here’s the promotional video: (I couldn’t watch it without laughing…)

I found this to be a very interesting idea that perfectly expresses how important Facebook has become to society. Some people are genuinely worried to what would happen to their Facebook account in case something happens to them. I personally believe it should have a way to be closed as a sign of respect to the person who died. Additionally, I don’t know how would I react if someone designate me as his trustee. If I die today I would love to have the opportunity to say to some people really close to me how much they meant, but I wouldn’t like posting something so personal in my wall. In the other end, I don’t think I could handle viewing a video of a friend/relative that just died. Sadly, I know how Facebook can be in this sense from personal experience; I had two friends in Facebook who passed away, and it was really weird and creepy to see that people kept posting in their walls or tagging them in pictures. I had to delete them because I didn’t find this pleasant. I can assure you that if I’m about to die my Facebook would not be one of my top priorities. I’m sure that everybody would like to say some last words to someone close, but is Facebook the correct place to do it? Does Facebook has the power to leave your legacy behind? How many people would use it? I’m definitely not planning to use it anytime soon…

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9 responses to “Facebook: Till Death Do Us Part

  1. Nicole Knight

    Moments after reading this, I debated going to Facebook and setting this app up on my account, just because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. I’ve had friends that have had someone in their family pass away and they would post on their Facebook from time to time when they were missing that person. I thought it was a good form of closure, but maybe I’m just weird that way. Facebook has become a huge part of our culture and everyone’s lives. Even if someone doesn’t have Facebook, it’s a part of their life. Our culture has evolved to it and instead of leaving it as is, why not make it the most of what it could be and embrace the opportunities it has created for us… like this app. Granted, that promotional video is quite…over the top. But nonetheless, it seems like a pretty good idea to me. Matter of fact, I believe I am going to go set this up for my Facebook (;

  2. Kati Trautzsch

    I find it sad that people go so far to do something like this.
    If you die, your friends and family of course are going to miss you and grieve for you, however what about your other friends you don’t know and you just have on there for silly little games/”I just met for 5 minutes you on the internet lets be friends”. I bet they could care less that you died, let alone left a message on FB.
    My friend’s dad died, who had a FB, but the only thing that happened to his was.. well.. nothing. His wife just mentioned his account was deactivated, however it’s still up. It’s a morbid thought, going to someone’s FB and seeing a video announcing you’re dead. I know I’d feel uncomfortable and if you really want to “make a mark”, why not go and actually do something rather than making a video for when you could die? I know I wouldn’t post this video thing even for a close friend because not only is it personal, but FB is too personal. Once it’s on the internet, it never goes away.
    If you have to use FB to let everyone know “hey guys, I’m dead”, you might wanna think about your priorities.

  3. FB has become very personal, and some people are willing to post almost everything on their profile. Just like Kati, I find it sad that people are even thinking about going as far as posting something like this on Facebook.
    Is that really what you want to leave behind, in public, on the internet, available for everyone to see? I guess some people are just desperate for attention, even after their own death. I do think that this concept is weird and creepy. Not everything is appropriate to post online.

  4. Honestly, I think this whole thing is just ridiculous. So you either are a joker, or you take yourself too seriously, but if you think that this is something you want to do, so be it! I mean I am not disputing the fact that it is creepy, and takes the who respect aspect away from the deceased, but in the end, I know that I’m not going to care! And its not like someone else posted it, the dead person did, so who is going to argue with him/her about the shabby judgement call!! Plus, there is a really nice and convienent button that you can click on called “hide” and then you never have to see it again, and can go on grieving or lack there of however you want.

  5. I think the underlying point of Andre’s article is this: you need to make sure you tell people how you really feel while you are alive- not via postmortem Facebook videos.
    Comforting messages after you’re gone can stir mixed emotions, but expressing something while living allows you to enjoy the reaction of the other person. Ideally, people should always keep their Facebooks “clean” enough so that if they died, their family/friends wouldn’t be ashamed of the image the individual portrayed.

  6. I think Facebook has become way too linked to our lives. This Facebook application is disturbing. I definitely think Facebook is not the place to tell everyone when an individual has passed away. I think if someone is really close to the person who has passed, then they will be notified by the family members or close friends. Many people place Facebook on a pedestal when communicating with friends, but it shouldn’t be that way. All the loved ones who are close to someone who passes on should know what he or she had to say if they properly took the time to say how they felt about all of them beforehand. Sadly, I’m sure a lot of people will use the application, but whether their intentions are pure or not is up for debate. I think that this is just another ploy for people to acquire more attention.

  7. Jared Ebert

    This article is very interesting and shows a subculture of technology that is not very pretty. Facebook is a good tool for communication but with applications like this it is crossing a boundary. There is a difference between being able to communicate with people online and only communicating with people this way. At some point society needs to wake up and realize Facebook, like so many other new technologies are great tools but we cannot allow them to dictate our lives and try and stop living altogether outside of them

  8. This is a great discussion, and each person here is raising a lot of important points. Is it true that Facebook is too linked with our lives already, so much so that there are now ways to make our online lives persist after our “real lives” come to an end?

    Andres, since you wrote this post, I’d love to see you expand it by integrating some of the internet buzz about this new app and about the question of social media when people die in general. What are people out there saying about it already?

  9. Dan Alykeev

    Great article Andres, I enjoyed reading it a lot. It gave me a lot of thoughts as well. First of all, I can’t think of anyone who would want to do it really, but who knows? At least for now, just as Facebook has become a big part of our lives, this little app might become one too. I can see the point why people would do it though. The best part about this app is that you do it and forget about it for the rest of your life, it can be years, decades, or a few days. And then, after it eventually happens, Facebook friends will get to see what a person had to say. Like the video says, it could be a favorite joke; a secret that was kept all life that might explain and mean a lot for some people; some valuable advice; etc. Just the fact that this is so bizarre and unheard of, doesn’t mean it is wrong. Personally, I am never going to use this, but I understand people who will – those are probably people who could not say what they wanted while alive, and so it is just an easier way for them to say through this app. I just hope people would say what they need to say while living.

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