chapter  3
Co-Creating Birth and Death on Social Media
ByTama Leaver
Pages 15

While social media are, by definition, about connecting multiple people, many discussions about social media platforms and practices presume that accounts and profiles are managed by individual users with the agency to make fully informed choices about their activities. At the other end of life, at the moment of death, the social media traces and online presences that persist after a user has passed away also present challenges in terms of agency. The use of real names on social media amplifies the impact and longevity of social media traces, whether early or late in life. Co-creation as a term and concept can be useful in making visible this contradiction and making it explicit that all use of social media is the creation of media. A number of technology start-up companies have emerged which claim that their products will utilize digital traces and social media footprints to reanimate users in some fashion.