Are you planning on preserving your digital life? Has this become an obsession because of our aging population or are we just this narcissistic – or both?
I don’t plan to live past 50. If I keep this pedal pinned to the floor, even that might be pushing it. Death is something that I ponder daily, usually between my morning blunt and Burger King breakfast run.
Yet for all my morbid musings, I’ve never thought much about my digital legacy — the only significant asset that I have. In addition to all the articles I’ve written that exist online, I’ve got more photos, profiles and social-networking accounts than the average Web junkie, and a whole lot of enemies who would flame my wall in the event of my demise. I don’t care about my body; like comedian David Cross, I’m donating my dead meat to necrophiliacs (if possible; there’s no check box for that). It’s my virtual soul that I wish to preserve.
What would happen if I logged off for good, and took my passwords to the grave? Will spambots devour my blogs even as maggots chomp my corpse?
“You’re delusional if you think everything you put on the Web is going to be there forever,” said Adele McAlear, who founded the site Death and Digital Legacy, at a recent lecture I attended at SXSW. Her statement shook me. A top social-media consultant and seasoned lecturer on these matters, McLear says the U.S. Supreme Court will inevitably have to determine how companies handle data belonging to dead users.