The Internet is a cemetery, preserving our personal data long after we die. By the end of the century, there will be more deceased users on social media than living, amounting to a digital afterlife. Will we have death rites for our digital remains?
How might we imagine Internet religions?
Digital media are starting to change our relationship with death. We post eulogies on the Facebook profiles of those who have passed. We remember them through Instagram and Youtube videos. Now, we are saying our contactless, remote goodbyes to our loved ones through FaceTime. Will large tech companies offer post-mortem services for their users?
Thanatos is a robotically-enabled death rite ritual that transforms our personal data into physical artifacts for funerary practices, rendering personal data and digital profiles treasured lifelong possessions but ultimately ones that the user does not truly own.