We cultivate our Facebook pages to be a reflection of our lives; featuring our photos, thoughts, and memories. But what happens to those pages when the life they were reflecting comes to an end? That uncomfortable was finally answered last week as Facebook introduced Facebook Legacy, a new feature which allows users to choose a “Legacy Contact” to run their page after death.
Personally, I think this is a wonderful idea! However, it sticks users with the most challenging social media choice since MySpace asked them to pick a Top Eight. Specifically, how do you choose the right person to be your Legacy Contact? That’s hard enough for your personal page and it’s almost impossible for the page you really care about; the official Facebook fan page for your short-form improv team.
Fortunately, we at Funny or Die are here to see you through the new Legacy feature with some helpful tips. I’ll be using the page for my team, Weekend at Bernie Mac’s, as an example.
Get Prepared Now
Let’s get this out of the way first and foremost; you can’t put off choosing your Legacy contact. As much as it seems like you’ll be alive forever, all of that can change in an instant. I know that’s hard to admit, but it’s true. Life is ephemeral, death comes for us all, and there’s no way to know when our time will come and we’ll feel the icy grip of the Reaper leading us from this mortal plane. In other words, Weekend at Bernie Mac’s won’t always be performing our 9pm show at Greg’s Bar and Grill every fourth Wednesday of the month. Everything comes to an end and we have to prepare for that.
Choose Someone You Trust
Your Facebook page is how you represent yourself and, when you’re no longer around, that representation is all the more important. Remember, the person you choose to be your Legacy Contact has control over how people will remember you long after you’re gone. This is a big deal and you need to choose someone who will take it seriously, giving you, your work, and your legacy the necessary amount of respect. In my case, Weekend at Bernie Mac’s is Central New Jersey’s number one non-college affiliated improv team. Our 168 (and counting!) Facebook fans deserve someone who’s going to recognize that.
Choose Someone Who Can Speak for You
According to Facebook’s announcement, one of the major things your Legacy Contact can do is “write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline.” That’s an important job. You’ve moved on. You can no longer speak for yourself. So you need someone who can be like a medium, drawing your words up from the hereafter and sharing them with your loved ones.
For example, Weekend at Bernie Mac’s has developed a very specific voice where we can be edgy but, like, not just for shock value. Just a couple months ago, we did this Hoedown game all about the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal where we made sure to have a really intelligent and unique take on the subject). We’d want someone to be able to capture that voice for our page. It’s what people would expect.
Choose Someone Who Knows How You Want to be Remembered
The great poet Thomas Campbell once wrote “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” He’s saying that as long as people remember you, cherishing fond recollections and beautiful moments, then you are as close as man can come to achieving immortality. In that case, you need someone who’s going to choose the perfect team photo for your improv team’s page after you’re gone. Weekend at Bernie Mac’s once did this hilarious one where we’re all dressed in suits like we’re business people but we’re all wearing propellor beanies and looking at the camera like “whaaaaa????” That’s how I want us to be remembered.
Choosing your Facebook Legacy Contact isn’t just hard; it may also seem unnecessarily grim and morbid. I know it did for me. But I just had to accept that Weekend at Bernie Mac’s could die. Either because we’re all in a car crash, or because a stage gives out, or because Cory gets too busy with law school and quits and he’s the one who’s the contact with the venue. I accepted that all and I made my choice. You can too.
ps. I chose Jake’s girlfriend because she comes to all our shows and she’s super supportive.