I’m Emily, a coach, speaker and writer on the topic of the digital afterlife. This includes issues around social media, privacy, access to digital information and managing memories or a person’s online profile when he or she dies.
Away for a Bit was set up after the death of my brother DBS in 2012 while serving in Afghanistan. It offers guidance to people who have found themselves in the situation of managing the digital and practical affairs of a family member or close friend who has died.
It also aims to clarify what active online users can do when planning what should happen to their own digital profiles, accounts and information after they die.
Then and now, my family has been struck by the extent of the digital footprint left behind by my brother. We were faced with a plethora of information in a variety of formats – data from online cloud and service providers, email accounts, social media and mobile accounts.
While policies and administrative access have been some of the items we’ve had to work through, we’re continuing to have philosophical and often difficult discussions on whether we’re managing his online presence in the right way. In the way he would have wanted.
It is difficult for people to discuss this kind of topic. Away For A Bit aims to provide accessible, straightforward ideas and guidance based on the experiences of myself, family and friends after my brother’s death.
The site is called Away For A Bit because in the days leading up to his deployment, it is the name DBS gave to a closed online community he set up for friends to tell them how to keep in touch with him while he was overseas. Like many of us, he was an eternal optimist and didn’t plan or expect to die. It’s a reminder that the unexpected can happen despite our best intentions.
If you have questions, ideas for future articles, want to contribute to the site in some way, or if you are looking for advice on these issues during a difficult time, please drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org.