By Dominic Indolino |Staff Writer|
did well with their announcement on Thursday, Feb. 12 that a new option is available for users to memorialize their accounts after their inevitable deaths.
They call it a legacy contact, a family member or friend who will be allowed to manage the account of a person that has died.
The legacy contact is allowed to maintain a memorialized page, update the profile picture and the cover photo of the deceased. They are not allowed to log in as the deceased, edit posts, or view private messages. An option to download an archive of photos, posts, and profile information that is already offered to the living, will be made available to the legacy contact.
For those who do not want to be memorialized on Facebook, the company gives you an option to permanently delete your profile after they learn about your death.
Sam Lopez, a first-year transfer student at CSUSB, viewed Facebook’s new option as a nice idea.
Lopez said that even though he did not have a Facebook profile he would choose a legacy contact, not for him, but for the ones he would leave behind. A first-year transfer student, who wanted to remain anonymous, agreed with Lopez. “The idea is nice,” but she would have her profile permanently deleted after her death because she would not want to give someone that responsibility unless “they knew her really well.”
Kelsey Zurcher, a fourth-year environmental science major, said having a legacy contact could be good but that it “does the same thing” that families already do to remember their loved ones. Kelsey would leave her Facebook profile alone after her death because “it doesn’t really matter in the long run,” but would give her family the option to do whatever they want with it.
Surprisingly, out of the four CSUSB students I interviewed, only one had heard about Facebook’s initiative to memorialize the dead.
Christopher Brewer, a
freshman studying pre-biological psychology, thinks the option to memorialize is a bad idea. Brewer understands that the memorial is for those who cared about the deceased but that the permanent profile “belittles” their death.
“A death shouldn’t be felt sorry for but honored,” said Brewer.
Brewer would have his profile permanently deleted but is not opposed to an archive of his profile being downloaded. Brewer thinks that it is better than a permanent account and gives his family an option to remember his story, “the way I told it.”
Facebook’s new program is kind because it allows users a sense of control in what will happen after their death, but I know that even if my Facebook is deleted my Internet profile will exist forever. Every stupid, adolescent MySpace post will be there for my
mom to laugh at. So instead of covering up my premature posts with a memorial wall of sympathies, I want all my jokes, sappy posts, and bad pictures that I regret to continue to exist because it is our choices, even our mistakes, that make us who we are.