I knew somebody in the 1980s, who I latterly followed on Facebork.
His last ever post on Facebork was just something fairly random, and then that was it. Frozen in time and space. Assuming Facebork goes on forever, his last ever inoffensive yet random post sits there as the words on a tombstone might, forever.
Actually, those words are not the last thing on his timeline. Within half a day of him dying, people who knew him were writing on his timeline with their sympathies. And then the details of the funeral.
As time slowly moved on, the months and then the years passed and the timeline stood silent.
Christmas, Birthday and the anniversary of his death during the first year or so would provoke a number of ‘remembrances’, but these dwindled. Soon all but one person stopped posting.
In the case of this particular deceased chap, he had a really good best friend.
Very sadly, all these years later, his best friend is still hurting. He always remembers to mark occasions like Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas and at random times if he was thinking about his friend, on the timeline he’d plonk a little message. Years have now passed since the death, but like a good friend making a trek to a physical memorial, the electronic pilgrimage is regularly taken.
I genuinely feel so sad for this chap still in mourning, like I wish I could some how make it all better for him. I can’t. Nobody can. Not even time. I’m sure his deceased friend would be so very chuffed to know how much he meant to him. I would love to have a friendship such as theirs.
Other deceased Faceborkers are not so lucky. I do seem to know a fair number of Faceborkers who are now deceased, which in itself is a bit worrying. Checking on their timelines, nothing much has appeared beyond the first year of their death. The years have chugged by and everything is frozen in time and stopped. Forever. Not ‘forgotten’ as such, just consigned to the back of the mind of those who have outlived them.
It is sad that when we die, our epitaph, our own epitaph is something bizarre like, “Oh look, Paxman’s got a beard“. It then looks as though the shock of his beard has killed us.
What might make sense is for there to be a service that could tidy up after we’ve gone. Kinda like solicitors do with a person’s ‘estate’, so too there could be some people who deal with all our blogs, social media, and internet presence the moment we have done the mortal coil shuffle.
Imagine being able to leave instructions for our timelines to be cleaned, deleted, or topped off with an official pre-written statement, “Hey everybody, right now I’m dead. So, here’s what I really think of you so called ‘Friends’…” Plus of course, all the funeral arrangements, and maybe those final emails to various folk, and ultimately the shutting down of our email accounts, or removal of all the subscribed lists sending the email we never really read. Or even the upkeep of our domain name for x years.
Indeed, it ought to be something that, like an ordinary will, is an ‘electronic’ will stored by an organisation, and is ‘activated’ on getting the death nod.
What the death nod would be I’m not sure. A fail-safe for those with no real friends or family might be the failure to reset a countdown clock that activates all the ‘on my death’ stuff if one has failed (due to death, of course) to log in and reset it every day/week/month.
I’m really surprised nobody is offering this service. Or are they?