My husband is an IT guy. And as an IT guy, he gets a kick out of internet humor. We were discussing the implications of the cartoon above when we started getting a little wiggy. Like, if you can be a babe online (when you’re anything but) – WHAT NEXT?
On the Internet, Nobody Knows You’re Dead.™
Forget cryogenic preservation! People today live online. And now they can KEEP ON LIVING, even after death! Think about it. Life today revolves around technology. People can work remotely- far from their places of business, and lots of folks live apart from their loved ones. The rest of the time? People call, text, and connect electronically. The next logical step? A company to keep your loved one’s online persona going when they are GONE.
SURE, it sounds creepy, and it is creepy, but consider some of the things we already do for the dead. We visit them in cemeteries. We bring them flowers. We honor them with memorial services. We look at their pictures. We listen to their music. We enjoy their paintings. We eat and share their recipes, using their old place settings and silverware, pots, pans, utensils, appliances – HELL, we might even be living in their old homes, sitting on their furniture, while wearing their clothes and jewelry. All I’m saying is why not expand the definition of death to include a little more LIFE. It’s enriching!
You choose the style, be it tasteful lampoon or the sincerest of sentiments, and your loved one will remain very much a part of your life the same way they pretty much had in previous years – via the internet. Their presence will keep on, keeping on. A truly virtual reality! It’s not that novel an idea. A quick Google search of “keep your loved ones alive online after death” yields over 99 million results. Granted, many folks would NEVER want this type of service. To “pretend” your deceased loved one is still among the living is a little weird at best and upsetting or unsettling at worst. But people pay good money for coffins, funeral flowers, all sorts of death-related stuff they’ll see once and never again. Why not pay to watch “Grandma” bungee jump on her 126th birthday? Or send you a card twice a year?!!
I’m not saying it’s a life changer (though, really, it is) – all I mean is, IT COULD WORK. Once you get over the initial heartpunch, it’s not a bad idea. In fact, it’s GREAT! How many people would welcome hearing from their dearly departed? Even if they know it’s not REAL, there is comfort in routine. In humor. In the concept of there being more than just this. It’s why people turn to religion, especially in times of grief. And why some folks seek out psychics. We all have a desperate desire to communicate with those we miss most. This could, in a very concrete way, make that happen. It’s a legitimate enterprise, I think, much like other forms of entertainment. Only you get far more out of this than going to a casino. It’s a certified WIN. For the greater GOOD. Really!