Digital Dying in Personal Information Management: An Introduction to Thanatosensitive Information Management

Marková, Katerina; Carvalhais, Miguel. 2012. “Digital Dying in Personal Information Management: An Introduction to Thanatosensitive Information Management”, Work presented at Centre for Death & Society Conference 2012, In Dying in the Digital Age: social technologies at end of life, Bath.

Using resources related to personal information management, online personal identity, thanatosensitivity, digital death and digital afterlife we propose a new topic of Thanatosensitive information management (TIM). Particularly we explore the possibilities of thanatosensitivity in the context of personal information management.

TIM regards people in different stages of their lives. The living need to get things done. The bereaved have to handle their daily routines at the same time as undergoing their personal grieving processes and managing the information of the deceased. The dying have essentially the same needs as the living, only that certain actions, such as organizing and passing on their information, may be influenced by the proximity of death.

Planning for death is often postponed or ignored, because it causes discomfort and anxiety. The personal information which we create, keep, send out or experience in any other way is often overlooked. After an individual’s death, the bereaved have to hold the funeral ceremony and take care of the deceased’s belongings among other things. They are often confronted by complications with privacy, social entitlement and even false re-animation of the dead. Digital information is involved in many of these activities and problems. The information relevant to us while alive, becomes pertinent to our survivors.

Instead of creating complex strategies, adoption of thanatosensitive methods and techniques for our daily tasks can help us to prepare our artefacts and information for the event of our death (or incapacitation) in a by-the-way manner that doesn’t require any extra effort.

Author(s)
Year 2012
Type Conference Proceeding
Publication CDAS Conference 2012 - Dying in the Digital Age: social technologies at end of life
Local Bath
Language English