With each passing generation, people are spending an increasing amount of time online and putting an ever-growing amount of content on there. Not only is the internet having to expand, but our personal space on the cloud is too. The bigger our space grows, the more valuable it could potentially be once we’re gone.
Given that much of this content is only worthwhile to our family and friends due to its sentimental value, it’s impossible to put an exact price tag on it. This is due to the fact that everyone would place a different value on each item of sentimental worth. If you want to know what value you’d put on something, imagine it being held to ransom – what is the limit you would pay up to?
Yet although it is an individual factor, there are social trends affecting what value we place on such contents. For example, research from the U.S. shows that women are more likely to value personal memories kept online higher than their male counterparts, with the former putting them at $18,815 against the latter’s $15,433. In terms of the wider value of everything we put in the cloud, it’s interesting to note that the value men tend to place on entertainment files goes some way to balancing this out, as they valued such content at $1,923 on average compared to the $1,504 women felt it was worth.
But what of the overall value? As much as everyone’s is different, the same global survey that found the previous results put the total as high as $35,000, although obviously it could reach far higher in exceptional circumstances. Of this amount – which is roughly the same as a new BMW car – personal memories made up the biggest single chunk with just over $17,000 on its own, whereas personal records, career information and hobbies and projects all came in at sizeable amounts between $3,000 and $7,000. Personal communications and entertainment files were also valuable factors on the list.
These figures may not be exactly relevant to you or anyone else in particular, yet what they do is illustrate the importance of including online content in a person’s will, and the need to make sure that once we’re gone, our relatives are able to access it.