My Dead On-Line Self

I have reconciled myself to the fact that my posts make many people uncomfortable. Perhaps I am giving voice to questions about suburban life and marriage that are better left unsaid . I have a screen name but Snarkychaser is hardly anonymous since it is linked to my profiles on Face Book and LinkedIn. Moreover, it is loaded with pictures of me. My more recent concern is not how my online self appears to society now, but rather what will my online image continue to say about me after I am dead.

When I began my blog, I realized that it was a vehicle to discipline my thinking in short posts. Ultimately, always in the back of my mind, I write it for my two children. One day, they will read what I have written and understand me. There have been times when my teen aged daughter has asked me not to post. She says that I do not understand the internet. She is wrong. I do. She just doesn’t really understand me… yet. She is worried that people in our small community won’t “get me”. I know that and I don’t care. I also realize that very few of us understand how much the internet legacies of our social networks and blogs will ultimately impact us…if at all.
In the past month, The New York Times has published two pieces on death and the internet. The first, Cyberspace When You’re Dead,discusses estate planning for your internet life after death. Unplanned death is a reality and I am constantly confronted with pictures and names of dead friends on Linked In and Face Book. I wonder if anyone knows that they are still hanging around. They are just constant reminders that we all leave unfinished business.
The second article in the New York Times, ran today on the front page. Funeral homes are now starting to post memorial services on the web. Perhaps my service will be downloaded on You Tube one day. I recently read on my AOL News about a man who not only lost his wife but also lost his children as their car crashed while they were driving to attend their step-mother’s funeral. Certainly it seems much more prudent to have a service on the web available for those who don’t want to drive in a snow storm. I can’t plan every thing…but I can start my thinking in terms of my digital legacy as a zombie.
Zombie Me

Previously Published on Open Salon June 25 2011 under Snarkychaser

About Laura Stinchcomb

Do you find the horrible funny? Do you find the funny horrible? I believe that funny is just a shade away from the truth. My writing may make you uncomfortable-even I squirm when I read it.

View all posts by Laura Stinchcomb

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