A reader of our blog drew my attention to a post on social networks about the death of a man who, according to these posts, was a successful internet entrepreneur. One of these online published obituaries ends with a sentence stating that the respective gentleman “made the Internet a better place to live” by his work.
This story reminded me of a business idea I had read about five years ago. Namely, one startup offered a service that was “advertised” under the slogan “When your heart stops beating, you keep tweeting”. All you had to do was to register your twitter account on their site and the job was done. Then you continue to tweet and keep using the service as all other regular users. Literally, as long as you are alive, there’s no worry. And if anyway, you ever die, the machine continues to tweet instead of you thanks to the algorithms that accurately define your profile based on how you used it, even when you no longer exist among alive. Convenient, isn’t it? Same as in those former ads for funeral companies: “All you have to do is die, everything else is our concern!”.
But that’s not all… here comes the best part. How long will the machine tweet on your behalf and for your account, and in general continue to live your life? Well, it’s clear – for as long as you pay for it. While you’re still alive, you choose a time period you want this machine to work on your behalf. If you pay more – you live longer. You can even give your heirs the privilege to prolong your life, if they remember you – in the first place and, of course, if they pay for it.
I don’t know what the fate of that startup was, as I wasn’t registered at that time, because I thought that I was able to communicate on my own for some time. And then I forgot about it and here is now this episode with the Internet as a place to live reminded me of this story.
At first glance, this may sound bizarre. But when you think a bit more, it’s actually very logical. If we have already moved a large part of our lives into the online world, and every day we move it more and more, then the Internet has become a place to live, and it’s not just a means of work and technology that make our jobs and communications easier. After all, we are much more into trying to look better, prettier, and smarter in that world than in the physical one. We spend more time in this online world, we have more friends there, more fun and entertainment. Above all, life is much simpler in this world as we can easily sign out and sign in again.
As it is what it is, it is quite normal to show your respect to someone by saying that he had made the Internet a better place to live, regarding his death. As the matter of fact, both you and the deceased really lived there, assuming that the person concerned didn’t continue to live through any of the services that enabled him to stay alive even after his physical death. His friends in that world, wouldn’t notice the difference anyway.
It seems that we have to say thank you to this last technological revolution as it gave us the answer to the question that man has always asked himself – is there a life after death. After all, almost all great religions of the world promise the new life after death, better and easier than this earthly one, assuming you earn it first by your behaviour in this imperfect world and, of course, help it financially. Now, as it seems, the computer technology is finally welcomed as the religion that can really fulfil this promise.
Nevertheless, despite all these great promises, I am still an atheist and that is why I want to wish you all the best in New Year, and above all, I wish you to live long lives and to help each other to make the planet Earth a better place to live. We are not supposed to move from here yet, no matter how much they try to convince us that the time has come and that we should start packing.