Until the devil wises up and provides social media in hell, the death of your body also means the death of that thing you use to hone an imaginary, more flattering perception of your body: Facebook. But now the site has introduced a way for someone else to inherit your Facebook page after you pass on, which you can now bequeath to them, instead of anything of actual value.
The company has introduced a new “legacy contact” feature, which allows users to go their security settings and designate a friend to take over their Facebook page when they die. That friend will then be able to pin a memorial post to the top of it that will act as a sort of digital headstone, as well as change your profile picture, and even respond to new friend requests (hopefully with “Oh, now you want to be friends? Maybe you should have thought about that when they were alive!”). However, they won’t actually be able to log in as you, nor comb through your personal messages to learn the terrible truth about you. They also can’t delete any posts or photos, even those now rendered tragically ironic by the circumstances of your demise.
They also won’t be able to post as you, so no hilarious status updates like, “If I wanted to spend all my time burning my ass off, reliving everything I ever did wrong, and hanging around my old, boring relatives, I would have stayed in Texas!” For that you’ll have to hand down your Facebook page the old-fashioned way, by just giving them your password. What do you care? You’re dead.
All of this is optional, of course, and even if you do nothing, Facebook will continue to automatically “memorialize” pages of users after learning they’ve died. This involves freezing them, and ensuring the departed don’t show up in heartbreaking ads reminding their friends they were once living, breathing people, who wasted their precious seconds on Earth liking the official Doritos page. You can also opt to have Facebook simply delete your page when you’re gone, making a choice in death you were too cowardly to take in life.
But for those who care about having their Facebook page live on after them, it’s time now to bestow that responsibility on a close friend or family member, or the person you sort of remember from high school who would be most hilariously disturbed by it. Regrettably, there’s no feature yet that requires your Facebook heir to spend one night in a haunted mansion first; presumably that will be in a future version.