Before February 2015 Facebook only memorialized accounts and did not allow anyone to make changes. But now the social media website is doing more. They have realized there was more they could do. Life is about relationships and it is important to preserve these relationships and memories. Families can now use pictures and memories posted on deceased loved ones’ Facebook pages in funerals and memorials to honor them the way they should be honored.

You can designate an executor of your account before you die. This person will follow your wishes and have the options to manage your account, delete the account permanently, or do nothing at all. Friends or family can report a death on Facebook’s help center using an online form and once it is confirmed, the word “remembering” will appear before the person’s name if chosen to be memorialized. The executor can make one last post on your behalf, change cover and profile pictures, and respond to friend requests. They will not be able to log in as the deceased or view private messages. A memorialized account keeps pictures and posts, but changes cannot be made. Loved ones can post thoughts and memories on the page. These accounts do not show up on suggested friends lists or birthday reminders. If no executor is set up, it may be difficult to gain access of a loved one’s account, like in the case of sudden deaths when predicting death was not in the forefront. Facebook may deny your request to take control of the account.

 

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Facebook has recently added another feature to help during difficult times like death. It may seem strange to “like” a post about the death of someone, so Facebook added multiple options to “react” to a post. You can love, show anger, or shock to a post.

There is also another app that you can get that is linked to Facebook called Sanctri. You can create a memorial page for a loved one, whether they have used Facebook or not. There are communities for people with similar experiences, like losing a child, for support. People can set up donations to foundations of their choice. It is another way to honor people in your life who you have lost.

Life is about relationships, and social media helps create and maintain relationships in today’s world. It only makes sense for Facebook to become involved in life and death. Now we have to look to other social media websites and apps to join the same movement.