Internet junkies (which includes an increasing majority of humanity these days) now have one less reason to fear death: Sites like Eternalspace.com can preserve their online lives forever.
Virtual cemeteries and online memorials are springing up around the Internet, from companies that use funeral homes as middlemen. A virtual grave site can be purchased for a loved one, followed by digital amenities and individual accessories, such as a mausoleum, flowers, and religious icons (for $5 and up).
Entrepreneurial ideas like these have sprung largely from the role that Facebook and other social networks have nabbed when a death occurs in social circles. People often use social networks to let others in the network know of a friend’s passing, or distribute details of a funeral, for example. Facebook can also declare a deceased person’s page as in a “Memorial State,” which restricts access to approved family members and friends. Facebook usually requires an official death notice or news item before making the change.
Different sites offer different services: You can establish a profile page for a lost loved one, set up a link through which people can donate to a chosen foundation in the person’s honor, or have reminders emailed to you on the anniversary of death.
Unfortunately, however comforting the possibility of an online afterlife might be, there’s still the chance of being left behind.
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Image: Flickr / Davichi