Over 8,000 Facebook users die each day, yet Facebook’s terms and conditions haven’t kept up with the every growing issues surrounding death of social media users. Today, Facebook announced that it will now allow users to designate a Legacy Contact who can manage their account when they pass away. Proof of death through an obituary or death certificate will need to be provided and once the user’s death has been authenticated the designated legacy contact will be able to:
Post an announcement, memorial information or special message on the top of the person’s timeline.
Respond to recent friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
Modify the deceased profile picture and cover photo.
It is also possible for Facebook users to give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of photos, posts and profile information that had previously been shared on Facebook. Considering how much content we all share on Facebook on a daily basis, the Facebook Legacy Contact feature could be quite helpful if you’re contemplating digital legacy plans for yourself and your family.
To get started —> Open your settings. Choose Security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page.
Facebook has also redesigned memorialized profiles (a user’s profile that’s no longer “active”) by adding “Remembering” above the deceased’s name and making it possible for their legacy contact to pin a post to the top of memorialized profile Timeline. This provides the community with a signal, and the opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased. View the official press release from Facebook here.
If you’ve gone down the Facebook Legacy Contact feature route, we would love to hear your thoughts. How did you find the process? Was it helpful to start a conversation?
If you find this interesting, you might find our digital afterlife blog posts helpful.
It is hard to fathom that someone who has brought so much joy and laughter to millions could be taken from us by suicide. But sadly, today it was announced that famous comedian Robin Williams died a victim of suicide at age 63.
He was most famously known for his starring roles in classic comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dr. Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting and rose to fame in the show Mork and Mindy, a Happy Days spinoff.
William’s wife Susan Schneider released the following statement this morning to The New York Times:
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one if its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope that the focus will not be on Robin’s death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
You will be missed Robin Williams, you will be missed. Although, we can never fully understand how powerful suicide can be, we hope that your legacy can live on through your movies and through bringing such a heartbreaking topic to the forefront!
There’s real power in a story. So much in fact that a fantastic account, fact or fiction, often dictates the news cycle—regardless if it’s newsworthy or not. Several weeks ago I was reminded of this fact while listening to a Freakonomics podcast. They reminded me of a news story that broke back in February about an 18 month old giraffe named Marius from the Copenhagen Zoo. Marius was euthanized and fed to the lions at the zoo because of his less than ideal genetic makeup. Do you remember hearing about this?
My intent isn’t to provide a commentary on whether this was right or wrong. It was without a doubt a sad event. But the Freakononomics podcast reminded me that despite significant turmoil and escalating civil conflicts resulting in many human deaths worldwide, this is the story that captivated the nation, trumping most other news for an entire week. The New York Times, CNN, BBC, Time, and The Guardian among others may have given this story legs, but social media made those legs move. Social has given new life to storytellers, and its power is clearer than ever. For brands, captivating consumers with compelling, engaging stories that are relevant and meaningful is more important than ever.
What You Have to Say Matters
Why is it so important that brands learn to tell a good story? Well, for starters, consumers place more value on what their fellow consumers think than what brands have to say. That’s nothing new; we’ve known for years that customers trust one another more than company spokespersons, even the CEO. But here’s why it matters. When a brand can relate to its target audience on a higher level with something real—whether it’s a heartwarming tale, a unique experience, or simply a good laugh—customers listen. A great story evokes emotion, persuades, even compels. More importantly, people who have felt something while being lost in a good story want to share. If social media is the vehicle, your story can be carried away in an instant. What you have to say matters. Make it resonate and your message will captivate the crowd.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
By now, most of us have realized that our content is better received when complemented by pictures. Perhaps it’s because we are a visual learning society; as many as 85 percent of people describe themselves as such. Social media posts with images increase click-through rates considerably. On Facebook, for example, research has shown that the engagement rate doubles if a picture is added to a post rather than just a link. Think about your own posts to Facebook, do your photos do considerably better than just your thoughts or links shared? Mine sure do.
Content in long form benefits similarly: a blog post or article with images receives 94 percent more views than those without. It’s more than that, though, because today’s marketer has a unique opportunity to captivate, compel, and persuade through images. The popularity of platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, SnapChat, and other image-sharing platforms is only expected to increase, and the growth of video in just the past year is staggering. And let’s not forget the value of video in storytelling, a topic worthy of volumes of books on its own.
Here’s a for instance. A Thai cellphone company called True Move H produced a video entitled “Giving” that chronicles a powerful story of compassion, giving, and passing on good. The video’s story is unmistakable—a tearjerker for sure, leaving the viewer wanting to do good for others. To date, it has generated tens of millions of views across the world. It is a powerful story, but it is also on-brand for the firm that created it, which believes in the power of communication and connectedness.
The Social Business Is Storytelling
When we think about what it means to design a social business, we can’t ignore the role of storytelling in the process. More specifically, brands who engage their customers do more than describe their latest products or services. They tell the story of who they are, not only the people behind the brand, but also how their customers connect to their products in ways that give them the ability to do more. These are the stories that bring differentiators to life, that illustrate the why and how behind the what and where. The social business is storytelling. The faster we start revealing, the better off we’ll be.
On this 3 day weekend many of us will partake in traditional Memorial Day BBQ’s, concerts, parades, or road trips. But how many of us really know the reason for the holiday?
Originally called Decoration Day, it was started three years after the Civil War ended on May 5, 1868. The day was set aside for the nation to decorate the graves of those who died servicing during the Civil War. By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion to honor all Americans who had died serving the United States through any of our wars and traditionally held the last Monday in May…historians suggest the later date in May to be chosen because flowers would be in bloom throughout the nation – giving more options to decorate the graves at the cemeteries.
What will you do to celebrate Memorial Day and the people who died serving our country?
Description: There are a number of glossary terms that are associated with funeral services which are important to have an understanding of, should the need for the services of the funeral services homes in the US arise. The following is a list of some of the most commonly used glossary terms when planning for funeral services.
An administrator is one appointed by the court to take care of the estate of the deceased who hadn’t written a will.
An arrangement room refers to the room in the funeral home where bereaved family meets with the staff to make plans for the funeral services.
The attorney in fact refers simply to the person who is given power of attorney (the ability to make financial decisions for the deceased or incapacitated).
A beneficiary is one who receives the proceeds from the deceased’s will and/or insurance policy.
A gift of property designated in a will is called a bequest.
Bereaved refers to the members of the deceased’s immediate family.
Burial permits are documents required by certain states before being allowed to bury or cremate the deceased’s remains.
A casket is a large container designed to carry the deceased’s body or remains.
The cemetery is the burial ground used to conduct final funeral rites or services.
Cremation means burning human remains using highly intense heat, while a crematory is the building which has a furnace set aside for cremation purposes.
Death certificate refers to a legally binding document issued and signed by either medical professional or coroner allowed by the law to perform such a task.
A display room is where you can view the products in the funeral home such as caskets and urns among others.
Disposition simply refers to any methods in which the body remains will be disposed of finally.
Embalming refers to the use of chemicals to preserve human remains on a temporary basis.
Eulogy refers to speaking publicly about the praiseworthy deeds of the deceased during the funeral.
A funeral director refers to one who professionally prepares the body of the deceased for burial, in addition to supervision of burials and maintaining funeral homes for future use.
Funeral insurance is a policy designed to cover all funeral expenses and costs.
Funeral home is also referred to as a mortuary and is where the deceased’s body is preserved while awaiting burial.
A funeral service can by any ceremony, religious or not, in which the bereaved say their goodbye’s to the deceased before they are put to rest.
Green Burial is a newer term, it refers to a burial processes without the use of chemical preservatives. The body is buried in a simple container that is better for the earth.
Morgues are places where the dead are kept as they wait to be properly identified by their next of kin.
A niche refers to the inner chamber where urns are placed.
In cemeteries you get charged opening and closing fees which refer to the costs incurred in having the grave dug and refilled.
Pallbearers are family or close friends of the deceased who carry the casket.
Probate refers to the process in a court where the will’s validity has to be proven.
Remains, of human, refer to the deceased’s body.
A trust, usually in the form of a fund, is managed by one person for the beneficiary of the trust (usually a younger family member)
Urns refer to special containers designed to hold the remains of humans who have been cremated.
Usually held at a funeral home, a visitation is when a body is put on display where friends and family can visit the body and pay their respects.
Wake is an exercise carried out by the family or friends of the deceased of watching over his/her body before burial.
A will is a legal document where the deceased has stated their wishes for the dispersal of their assets, what to do with the remains, and other matters.
Wow, talk about a whirlwind! Since our launch on April 16th (National Health Care Decision Day) we have been up to great things…mostly spreading the word about our guide and the resources we offer! On a daily basis our community and distribution is growing through relationships with hospitals, hospices, community organizations, non profits serving terminally ill patients, the list goes on!
WHERE CAN YOU FIND US NEXT?
Interested in facilitating a table at an upcoming Death Cafe? We are hosting a training tonight! Event details.
When you are thinking of attending a funeral, it is often a good idea to keep the tips below in mind to ensure that you are as respectful as possible to the bereaved.
Always make sure to arrive early, more than a few minutes before the service starts. Most of the delayed funeral services out there are normally attributed to the attendants coming late. By making sure that you are on time, you can ensure that the service starts in a timely fashion and it shows your respect.
Sign the registry in an appropriate manner
Always sign the document with your first and last name, and also include your relationship to the deceased.
Avoid seeking out the family before the service
When you find that the family members are greeting other people during the service, try and keep your interaction with them minimal, so that you can give them time to greet all the guests in attendance.
Avoid things such as eating during the service. Keep your phone on silent mode, and quietly exit the service if you think you are going to be overly emotional to avoid disrupting the service. If asked to say something, try keeping it brief and respectful. Also, avoid taking photos as much as possible; this can be misconstrued as a violation of privacy in a funeral situation.
Be respectful towards urns If an urn is displayed at a service, do not touch the urn as it could be considered disrespectful to the deceased or the family.
Avoid going to the service with children if you think they are going to be a distraction, such as if they are fussy. If the children have to attend the service, they should be told what to expect so as to be able to behave appropriately. Families with small children should consider sitting near the back in case they need to leave the service without disrupting.
Show respect to the bereaved by wearing the appropriate clothes (subdued colors and non-provocative clothing). In some situations different attire may be appropriate for a funeral. If the deceased or the family have made special requests then different clothing (bright colors or specific clothing) is acceptable.
When part of a funeral procession, follow the instructions of the funeral director
When going to a graveside service, you should keep the following tips in mind:
Don’t park on the grass
Remove your hat during the service
Avoid walking directly on graves
Don’t engage in photography unless expressly permitted
Be discreet when offering any kind of help to the deceased’s family
When you arrive at a wake or funeral, it’s often recommended that you go to offer your sympathy to the family before joining others in attendance.
Death isn’t something that is new to all of us. In fact, we hear people dying every now and then. But very few of us know the best way to extend our sympathy to the family of the departed. We go to funeral and we don’t know how to react around family members and we’re clueless on what to say to somehow help ease their pain.
This is where flowers are extremely useful. When you wish to send your condolences or share your sympathy, sending flowers is one very popular option. It’s a very meaningful gesture and people from across the globe appreciate it. But did you know that different type of flowers express different messages?
Below are the common flowers given during funeral and the type of message they send.
Lillies- If there’s one flower that is deeply associated with funeral services, it would be lily. This flower represents the restored soul of the person who died and is a symbol of innocence. White lilies symbolize purity and majesty while white stargazer lilies express deep sympathy.
Carnations– Do you ever wonder why carnations are common fixtures to most funerals? This is because carnations, depending on their colors, represent innocence, pure love, remembrance, and admiration.
Chrysanthemums- This type of flower is very famous in Japan, Korea, and some European countries. They represent grief and lamentation. However, in United States, Chrysanthemums are often associated with truth.
Roses- Just like carnations, Roses are common fixtures on funeral because they’re one of the most recognizable flowers. Flower arrangements usually contain roses with different colors as they symbolize different meanings. A white rose symbolizes youthfulness, humility, reverence, and innocence. Red rose on the other hand, convey courage, love, and respect. Pink rose symbolizes gentility, grace, and love.
When going to a funeral, its important that you’re very sensitive to the people you’ll see, especially the family of the departed. Take time to research the type of flowers that you’re going to give them and make sure that it sends the right message.