Data Afterlife / Post Social Media Club

Where does your data go once you’re dead? Where is the data of the living? While there is much discussion about good data practice, in truth we have little say over how the data we input into social media–data that is tied to nearly every aspect of our social, professional, and personal life–is used. As the material limits of energy and land use grow untenable, the self-appointed shepherds of our data afterlife will create more rigid demands for whose data is worth preserving and whose will be deleted. The weight of one’s digital life will be weighed carefully by the keepers of the web, and they will judge the server space our digital spirits will be allowed in the afterlife.

Data Afterlife is a project that confronts the powers that control not only the data of those living, posting, streaming, and sharing on social media today, but also those users who have left behind their mortal bonds but whose profiles remain. By relating the opaque tech corporations that have supremacy over our data to the centralized religious institutions who claim ownership over the souls of their followers, the project interrogates how these tech institutions have made data they control a sacred aspect of our social existence–and a divine reflection of the way we see ourselves.

This project is part of the Post Social Media Club.