Friday, January 13, 2012

If I Should Die Before I Update



A little while ago, I wrote a post about a girl from my high school who died, and how her Facebook page lived on.  Essentially, her friends and family continued to write on her wall (and still continue to do so), and I found it to be an intriguing concept.  I concluded that if and when I die, I want someone to change my Facebook status to reflect the fact that I am dead.

Many of you might have thought me to be macabre, and perhaps I am.

But apparently I could have made money off of it.  For whatever reason, I didn’t have the foresight to actually turn my morbid idea into a real product, like I have tried to in the past.

It is called the “If I Die App,” and is pretty simple. 

Load the app on Facebook.

Write a message or make a video saying farewell to the world.

Pick three friends that you trust to confirm your digital will.

Not only is it a simple and practical idea, but it is pretty much exactly what I thought of a year and a half ago.

The only difference is that I would have taken an entirely different (See also: better) marketing route.



It is very apparent that they weren’t really sure what mood they wanted to put forth in their “commercial,” which is an odd juxtaposition of thoughtfulness, sagacity, and heartlessness. 

While the product seems to take itself seriously, its oddly harrowing jokes and cartoons can lead anyone to think that it is actually a gag.

“You’re probably thinking to yourself: I don’t remember scheduling* an appointment with death anytime soon,” the voice-over dude says.  “And you’re right.  But so is death: Right… around the corner.”

     *Note that he pronounces it sheduling, which is creepy in its own right.

Not only is this an exceptionally sad attempt at clever word play, but it is also the point at which I assume most potential users decide that they are not going to try it out.  It is the If I Die App’s greatest failing.

You see, death is just like fruitcake.  It is unpleasant, scary, mysterious, and hard to swallow.

Just because humor is added to the fruitcake, it doesn’t mean it is going to magically taste better.  And like fruitcake, the idea of death is a heavy, voluminous weight we all keep in the refrigerators of our souls, never quite brave enough to consume or able to digest.

I do still stand by my assertion that in our ever-expanding socially technological world, it is a good thing to have a digital will.  Additionally, I am still keeping my plans intact for what I want to happen with my Facebook account after I die.

But nowhere in my plan do I attempt to make jokes.  I don’t try to get cheap laughs.  And I certainly don’t use awful word play.

The only changes I desire are omissions.  The only addition is my status change: 


That, I believe, says enough. 

Like in most of the things I write, my intention is just to tell it the way it is.  

The great thing about the way it is, though, is that it is usually funny if looked at in the right light.

That is the only message I could possibly leave behind.

See for yourself.

If you watched the commercial, and were confused or turned off by its haphazardly themed message, I still challenge you to try it out.

It is not until you are actually sitting there, attempting to think of what you want to write as your posthumous message to friends and loved ones, that you will see how incredibly difficult of an undertaking it is.

Once you are aware of the fact that this message will actually be seen once you are dead, you might realize that you aren’t quite as funny as you might think.

Seriously, try it.  Comment here and let me know your thoughts.

And if I should die tomorrow, just know that I love you all.  Especially my followers.

Wow, I’m really starting to sound like Jesus.

-Youngman Brown

1 comment:

  1. i've thought about "if i die" scenario every now and then but not to the extent of knowing there's actually an app for it. :)
    but anyhow,that's perhaps the the reason why for my social-media contents these days are produced in such a way that it would not exactly leave a bad taste "afterward".know what im sayin'?

    what we wrote on the internet are kinda like testimonies written by ourselves long after we've moved on.

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