11 August 2009

What happens to your Facebook account when you die?

I found this photo of my grandparents Una and Mervyn the other day. It was taken in Dublin probably a few years after WWII. I know very little about Mervyn as he died by the time he was 37 but this photo got me to thinking about what one leaves behind, such as photos, writing, other people's memories of you and so forth. Trying to piece it all together, to get a sense of a relative you never knew is frustrating but also incredibly rewarding. Then it got me to thinking about what we might leave behind: blogs, Facebook accounts, emails, thousands of digital photographs, and I'm not so sure it is such a good thing to leave such a tangible trace. Do I want great grandchildren reading this? Do I want them to know my entire reading list, favourite films and poltical viewpoints? I'm thinking I'd rather let them find some shitty poems and a crumpled photograph or two in one of shoeboxes in the basement. The less you leave, the easier it is to go, right? Although it would be funny to post date some blog posts for a couple of beyond the grave entries...

The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day, when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears, and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one's master. And every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. Ghost Dog.