Um, great news! For those of us who are extremely aware and accepting of the fact that we will all, one day, die, Facebook is now offering an app that lets its more forward-thinking users write a bunch of posts, messages, etc. to be published after they have died. Obviously, there are truly sentimental and heartwrenching reasons to do this, and then there are, of course, the people who want their friends to suffer through an extremely macabre prank. BOO!
If I Die lets “you” post a final message to your wall and loved one when you’re dead. After installing the app, you choose three “trustees” (Facebook friends) who are charged with verifying your death. Users can then record videos or craft any number of Facebook posts to be published posthumously. When your trustees confirm your death, your messages can be published all at once to your Facebook wall or released on a designated schedule.
Indeed, it is up to you to choose “pallbearers” to inform the powers-that-be at Facebook that you are actually, really dead. And it is then that Facebook will start to publish your pre-written messages on the schedule that you set up yourself. (Before you die, in case that wasn’t clear.) Imagine the wonderfully passive-aggressive conversation that takes place on Facebook when someone receives the notification, “Jamie Frevele has chosen you as her death trustee. Confirm.”
Actually, this isn’t such a bad idea. Dealing with a loved one’s digital life/internet presence after they’ve passed away can be tricky, especially if they have been a good internet soldier and kept their passwords to themselves. And while there isn’t an app to help someone’s survivors decipher important things like online banking, If I Die is the least Facebook could do to help people have the last word. One user, who was diagnosed with cancer, started recording and scheduling videos for her daughter for all the birthdays she would miss. (See? Not such a creepy idea after all.)
If I Die was conceived following a near-death experience. A married couple traveling in Italy narrowly avoided what could have been a fatal car crash. All they could think about was what they wish they could have said to their loved ones, should they have been less lucky. They asked their friend Eran Alfonta to create a site where they could pre-record such messages, and he was inspired to create the app. There are three videos explaining more of the details on the app’s YouTube page, which is totally real.
We don’t want to think about death. But it’s definitely going to happen to all of us. In fact, it’s the one thing that unites every single living thing on this planet. Do you really want your last Facebook post to be: “Ugh, Mondays, amirite?” Just a thought.
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