Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

My Blog Could Live Forever

One thing I love about consuming so much written on the internet is that it raises interesting thoughts in my head. Sure, I get annoyed at the constant cycle of AI this, metaverse that, but newsletters like this edition for Garbage day from Ryan Broderick really made me think.

He discusses a friend who passed away, leaving behind herself scattered over the internet, and ponders on what will stay behind. The below passage brought up thoughts about the excellent Disney film CoCo, that you die twice, once in physical form and again when the last person alive forgets about you. In the modern world, that could be three times.

Now, it seems, we die three times. First, when you stop breathing, second, when a corporation deletes your account, and, third, when someone says your name for the last time.

I’ve written before about my thoughts about death, but the way that technology and the services you have used is interesting to think about. In many ways, I could echo around the web for years after my passing because I have put so much content onto it which could be a comfort or dressing to others in my life. Or I could be permanently deleted once I stop paying.

Ryan talks about all Facebook Messenger chats disappearing once an account turns into a memorial, which would be something that other people might miss. However, Twitter is now recovering whole accounts that have laid dormant for a while, which will include many people no longer with us. No doubt to flog for profit. Bringing into sight the realisation that where you put your online life could be more important in death.

All this talk of deleting accounts and recovering dormant ones reminds me of wanting a username that appears unused. That handle that I desire could in fact be someone’s comfort, and the ethics of recovering it become a little murky. Thankfully, I feel blessed that I have placed my posts on, and they will remain online indefinitely thanks to Manton.

So, should the time come for me to leave this mortal realm, I will die two deaths, but perhaps not a third.

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