How does modern technology affect end of life traditions?


We represent Lund University in Sweden and research how modern information technology affects end of life traditions and what happens to digital information once someone has passed away. We are very interested in knowing how you feel and think about related issues and ask you kindly to participate in this anonymous survey that take about five minutes to complete.

If you leave your email at the end of the survey the final paper will be sent to you for your convenience. To start the survey, click on the following link (with more details about our user-centred design):

Thank you in advance /
Anders, Dragan and Kristofer

Interesting topic… just did the survey.

I’d be curious to see how virtual information (ie. data) differs from the handling of real world information.

This seems like a great product opportunity since it is a new problem. Everyone should have a special password to use that can be made available to loved ones upon death, with easy access to the things you’d like to pass on.

Everyone should have a special password to use that can be made available to loved ones upon death.

Hmmm … it used to be called a “Safe Deposit Box Key”; my mom constantly reminded me of where the key was hidden in her desk; and when I finally needed it I knew right were to go. My great grandmother(s) diamond rings and jewelry, titles to the cars, insurance policies, deed to the house, birth/death certificates, etc. were all contained in this steel box in the vault at the bank. But this was all physical stuff; virtual stuff can be gone in an instant, if it can even be said to exist at all.

Someone help me with what the value of “virtual information” is when one is dead. After both of my parents passed on, I was left with duties to perform (insurance policies to close out, bank accounts, end of life expenses, a house to sell, utilities to cancel, credit cards to cancel, etc.) But after several years I don’t find that I value anything other than the images that are left in the family album, and since my wife and I, by design, have no children, all of these images will, in the future, be meaningless to whomever views them.

Had I led the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, or Brooks Stevens, or Colin Powell or … I suppose it would be different; but what percentage of us leaves that legacy? So what is the intrinsic value of “life” information?

very interesting topic. just moving back from denmark (pretty close to Malmo where I’ve visited) also nice to see a more international presence here on the core boards.

did the survey.

funny, but although im active here on the forums (moderator)/elsewhere online (my own blog, etc.) with what you could call a digital life (i have maybe only 10 real photos in my apartment- everything else is digital), i havent ever thought of this issue of digital history…

would love to hear more about the project.

i didnt see a place to leave my email at the end of the survey, but if you can add me that’d be great (as long as its in english). PM me and ill send you my address.