Death and Digital Legacy

Your legacy is more than your social media content. Blogs, blog comments, e-mail, tweets, and posts to your Facebook wall are mostly random slices covering the last few months, days and hours of your life. How much of it will matter to your heirs or anyone in the future?  Imagining that people 50 years from now will pore over your tweets is presumptuous at best and perhaps narcissistic.  There may be some “gems” buried in your midden heap, among the retweets of Techmeme, and the search tools to find in the future will not require you to worry about it today.

What you should worry about today are the stories of your life that you want to be read and understood by your heirs or people in the future. Stories that will likely be locked in your head on the day you die.  Memories of your childhood may not interest your children today, but they be interesting when your children have children. If your memories and stories die when you die, then your children and your grandchildren will never know of them.

There is a generation of people whose lives will be recorded in smartphone video “GenI”.  A generation born in the 21 century growing up with iPhones and Internet TV. Their lives will be captured and preserved to a degree that surpasses the attention posterity paid to Lincoln or Kennedy. Who knows what their children will grow up with. These kids don’t need to worry about digital legacy. But will they wonder about yours after you are gone?

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