How to Preserve Your Virtual Soul

| 8/5/2011 4:28:44 PM


As more of our lives appear online, it’s only natural that our deaths will soon unfold there, too. Utne Reader wrote about the online afterlife in the March-April issue, and in “Digital Death” Chris Faraone covers the topic for the Colorado Springs Independent. “I don’t care about my body,” he writes. “It’s my virtual soul that I wish to preserve.”

As Faraone notes, the so-called digital death industry is booming with tribute sites, data banks, will-writing pages, and more. In case he should depart the analog world unexpectedly, Faraone decides get his online personal affairs in order with the help of Entrustet, a digital estate planning site whose tagline is: “Decide how you’ll be remembered. Pass on the keys to your digital legacy.” Faraone writes:

The first thing [they advised] me to do is “cloud count,” or take an inventory of every site and service I belong to. Aside from the basics—Twitter, YouTube, Gmail, Tumblr, Facebook, and an interminable MySpace—there are several other accounts that I want closed, or at least maintained, after I pass. There’s the eBay profile that I use to sell old comics for beer money, and the Adult Friend Finder account from my truly degenerate days. I also have a few WordPress blogs, SpringPad for my field notes, and online Bank of America access. After I die, my relatives can contact these companies directly, and follow procedures to get into my accounts.

Most appealing to me is the service If I Die, which allows you to write notes that will be delivered only if you kick the bucket. The website suggests several different kinds of messages:

A letter to a friend - to say something personal.

Simple instructions - whether or not to read your journal, what to do with your cat, where your documents are kept.

Passwords - how to log into your computer, how to access your address book.

An informal will - so your next of kin knows what to do with your stuff.

Sending heartfelt messages to grieving friends and family members after you’re gone—what a sublimely staggering concept. Then again, why wait? Compose your letters on If I Die, but deliver them while you’re still of this world and share the love. I always meant to tell Dr. Wilk what an impactful professor he was and Galactic Pizza how much joy they’ve brought to my life. . . .

Source: Colorado Springs Independent 

steve eatenson
8/11/2011 8:03:44 AM

Next, they're going to figure out a way to help me buy goods and services from the grave, for my benefit, of course. Just wait, you'll see.

8/8/2011 7:12:04 PM

A friend of mine passed away in March 2011 and he was a young man Loved by Many. The loss was so abrupt and stunning that there are still days that I go back to his live page on a networking site for the purpose of communicating with him. In years past that would not be possible, I must say that I am glad to have this opportunity at least temporarily. When we begin to leave our wishes that may not be a possibility however it may at somepoint become necessary. Good piece.

Facebook Instagram Twitter