Jun 30, 2010

My Digital Legacy

A co-worker of mine recently mentioned that a facebook friend of his died.  The friend's page is still up and running and getting activity.  Mostly farewells and tributes from the deceased's friends.  He said it was very odd to have these pop up on his FB news feed, bringing memories of his friend when he least expects it.

The digital age has changed things in so many ways.  How we interact and communicate.  How we are entertained. It's changed our language.  Now it may even impact what our families need to do after we're gone.  I know it will for me.

My e-mail account - How long would it continue to collect junk mail if nobody turned it off?   Indefinitely?  Come to think of it, I'm sure I have at least five or six accounts I've set up over the years in an attempt to keep my real mail free of junk.  A futile exercise, by the way.   Will these accounts just keep waiting for the log-in that never comes?

My facebook account -   I think I'll ask my daughter to post a tribute update.  Something along the lines of "Mom's final update...... It's been fun, see you all on the other side!"

My blog - I don't trust the digital world to maintain my blog for the long haul.   I am going to start printing it out as a backup.   Not because I think it is super significant in any way but because it's important to me.  I also think it would be a good way for my future progeny to get to know great-great-great grandma Christine.   I wish I had my ancestors' blogs to know what they were all about.     

My WOW character - As in World of Warcraft.  You know, the on-line role playing game.  Sounds silly I know but I have a lot of time and effort put into Falana.  Scientist have done studies of the brain while people are playing "avatar" based games like WOW.  They found that the areas of the brain that are activated when somebody is controlling their character are the same as when people are asked to think about themselves.   These digital personas become like extensions of ourselves.   I am entrusting Falana to my guild leader, Tony.  He would do right by her.  My family, not so much.  They don't get the whole WOW thing.

All of this is assuming we make it past 12/21/12.  As my sister says to my niece.  None of it will really matter if the Mayans were right and we are going to get fried by some solar flare anyway.   Just in case, maybe we should be sending our digital personas into space....  wasn't that a Star Trek episode?  The one where Picard lived another life on a planet that had a dying sun.   The one where he plays the flute he finds floating around in space even though he never learned to play the flute before.  Not a Star Trek TNG fan?  You should be.


  1. You've got me thinking about what kind of status update my stepdaughter would post for me! Great post...and so true in so many ways.

  2. this is a really interesting post.

    a friend of a friend passed earlier this year. she was only nineteen, and was very creative. she liked to take silly pictures of herself and photoshop them so they looked very freaky and bizarre. her profile picture at the time of her death was of her squatting over herself and farting in her own face.

    at first i thought that must have been the most unfortunate picture to have of herself on facebook at the time, but it was representative of who she was and what she liked to do, so maybe it was fitting.

    i often wondered how long that image and her facebook page would stay online like that.

  3. Thought provoking post. I have considered printing my blog also, but it seems such a big job given that I have blogged for over five years, and that's just on this site.
    This really got me thinking though........

  4. I let Tony know you bequeathed Falana to him; in his understated Tony way I think he is touched.

    Your blogs should be saved for and savored by future generations. Although... printing them? That's so 20th century. :)

  5. Great post! :)

    I've never seen a single episode of Star Trek. (I know, the HORROR, right? *hee hee*)

    When you wrote "My blog - I don't trust the digital world to maintain my blog for the long haul. I am going to start printing it out as a backup. Not because I think it is super significant in any way but because it's important to me"--it really made me think. I always assumed blogger would keep my blog out there forever, but maybe you're right--yikes! I think I'll print out some stuff, too.

  6. Dawn - I will definitely come up with something better than "See you on the other side." Let's hope I have some time to think of something.

    mi - Do you really think she would have chosen that shot to be her final one? Hard to imagine but I guess I can't even fathom photoshopping a shot like that to begin with.

    Foxy - Imagine the horror you'd feel if you logged on one day and it was gone... poof. Gives me sweats.

    G - We all knew Tony was touched anyway didn't we. Hahaha.... But seriously. I will be giving him my log in info just in case.

    MHP - My techie friend G up there thinks paper is too old fashioned. If I knew how to store it electronically I would. Print it out and scan it? Copy and paste each post into a word doc and then store it? I'm at a loss.

  7. Oh noooo not "World of Warcraft" not you!!!!

    my mum used to say if we had a problem, "Will it matter in a hunderd years?" what she meant by that was will it affect your kids and theirs and the world to come - if not then don't worry too much...one day the whole web will just implode or not!!

    i also print mine out as it is sort of a journal in a way of my thoughts...

  8. Love where you got your profile picture. That movie rocks.

  9. MC - Yes. Me. Even though I'm not a pasty faced, acne ridden teenager I am a WOW player.

    Kirsty - Thanks for stopping by. KFH rocks!

  10. The Star Trek episode you are referring to was called "The Inner Light;" it's my best friend Jim's favorite episode.

    Yesterday, I was looking for an email address in my online address book and came across the email of my friend Mark, who was murdered four years ago. His death was probably the most traumatic event of my life, and I couldn't bring myself to take it off.

  11. I love that episode too. I've read your posts about your friend. Very sad and senseless. I wonder if they get emails in heaven. Might be worth a try.