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.