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Digital immortality, #DeathTok and the future of death

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Jun 28, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

Is talking about death still taboo today? WGSN opens a conversation to explore the shifting mindsets about death and dying. 

As the world grapples with the pandemic and ageing populations, the topic of death has come to the fore. People are feeling more comfortable discussing death; some even embrace it, as seen from those making funeral arrangements to the rise of #DeathTok.

In this episode, WGSN’s CEO Carla Buzasi speaks to Allyson Rees, Senior Strategist on WGSN Insight, to explore the key issues impacting consumer attitudes and how they’re responding, from a death curriculum in China to a US festival that helps people plan for their death and beyond. 

Allyson also co-authored our report on The Future of Death, which examines the key issues that will shape the ideas, rituals and economy of death in 2023 and beyond. Request a demo with WGSN to discover how your brand can support the conversation on death via new grief rituals, achieving digital immortality and more. 

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Preparing for death

“In Japan seizensō is the act of staging your own death while you are alive. This practice helps older people take ownership of their death celebration and remove that burden from the family. Everything gets planned then, including the financial aspect of things. This is allowing people to plan for the death and the funeral that they want.”

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Embracing green death

“There’s been a movement towards alternatives to cremation. We talk about terramation, which is also known as human composting. This uses a fraction of the energy that is required for cremation. It takes about eight to 12 weeks and it turns a corpse into rich soil, which is something that we need.”

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Enabling digital immortality

“There is a growing awareness about what happens to our digital life after we die. The Oxford Internet Institute estimates that there’s going to be more Facebook accounts belonging to the deceased than living people by the year 2100. And they’re estimating about 3.6 billion profiles.”
– Allyson Rees, Senior Strategist, WGSN Insight

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Lives of Tomorrow podcast episode, The Future of Death.

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