Facebook profiles can become virtual gravesites once we die. Now you can plan the message that your surviving loved ones might see on the social network, with an application that could also act as a low-cost alternative to a living will.
A service called If I Die allows you to leave a message to your dear ones once you’ve left this earthly plane. The set-up is simple: Install the application. Record your message as a video, and appoint three trustees who will be called upon to confirm your death, at which point the message will appear on your profile page for all your friends to see.
You can leave a message, tell a secret, share your life story. Whatever it is you choose to leave behind, Facebook will surely be the venue where your last message to the world will be seen, particularly if you die while Facebook is still the most popular social media website on earth.
But while it seems certain that your profile does offer you a chance to say a few choice words for your progeny to hear, the creators of the application might want to rethink the promotional video they posted YouTube. The ad promotes the service with gallows-humor irony, making light of a grim subject, perhaps, but also skewering any thought that this is a project that has any real reverence to it. The animated footage (embedded below) features a recently departed fellow lambasting his wife, leaving all his dough to his brother, telling his grandkids there’s no Santa Claus and letting the neighbor know he killed his dog.
Death is inevitable, and death online is a topic we all have to face — on Facebook, and in all our other online communities. But If I Die’s marketing spin in cynical at best. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to leave a message behind when you die, but one would hope that whatever you choose to say would be a lot more hopeful than what this company suggests to its customers. Perhaps that explains why the service’s page lists only 137 active users, although the relative newness also accounts for that number.
What messages would you like to leave for the Facebook community after you pass away?