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Step Four: DIE.
January 24, 2012 9:18 AM   Subscribe

if i die: if i die is the first and only facebook application that enables you to create a video or a text message that will only be published after you die.

Step One
Install if i die on Facebook
Step Two
Create a video or a text message.
Step Three
Choose three trustees from your friends.
...
posted by Fizz (74 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
"If"?
posted by rtha at 9:20 AM on January 24, 2012 [27 favorites]


Jay Leno on if i die.
posted by Fizz at 9:21 AM on January 24, 2012


So, joining Facebook makes death optional?
posted by bearwife at 9:22 AM on January 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


They'll have to pry my life out of my cold, dead, hands...
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:22 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I the "if" is contingent on whether or not someone wises up and decides to stop using Facebook prior to their death.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:24 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I swear there was a "think" in there.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:24 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, but will it turn off the dead man switch on my World-Deatholator 2000?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:24 AM on January 24, 2012


Is this something I'd have to die to understand?
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:24 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


If I die first someone please finish my game of Words with Friends.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


It would be better if the message was sent only after you failed to press the "I'm Still Alive" button for a few days.

Mine would be "Check the sofa!"
posted by orme at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2012


I do not wish to be revived with a super-poke.
posted by not_on_display at 9:30 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Could one of you fuckers find a way to cancel my AOL account? Thanks.

Also, it's surprisingly nice weather here."
posted by timsteil at 9:31 AM on January 24, 2012


How about a video "if I die" where I request no necrophiliacs poking my profile?
posted by stormpooper at 9:32 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Get off my lawn rant for the Social Network Generation:

"Back in my day we didn't have post-death facebook account activity. Once you died....you died. No more likes. No more Farmville updates!!!"
posted by Fizz at 9:33 AM on January 24, 2012


I choose to believe that Facebook will die off long before I do.
posted by misha at 9:33 AM on January 24, 2012 [23 favorites]


"Attention Facebook 'friends': here is the list of those of you I actually hated..."
posted by nathancaswell at 9:38 AM on January 24, 2012 [14 favorites]


A friend of mine met an untimely end at about age 40 from cancer but still has a Facebook account. Once in a while his widow would log in to his account and it kind of freaked me out to see his face as "available for chat."
posted by exogenous at 9:40 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


There isn't imho a good dead man's switch available, certainly a facebook application won't cut it.

If you need one, you should probably roll your own using ssss (man page) and some friends.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:40 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


i think i'd be more interested in it closing my accounts after i died. i wouldn't want people to be facebook friends with a corpse. i can't even imagine the wall posts. ugh.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 9:41 AM on January 24, 2012


t-30 seconds to a McSweeny's article where someone records different "If I should die" messages at different points in life, from optimistic college student, depressed divorcee, newly minted Pastor in the Church Of Our Beloved Alien Masters, and finally, right before the robots smash everyone's head in.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


My best friend's younger sister died of cancer some while back and she still has a memorial page up on FB. I'm kind of freaked out by the whole thing. People still post random weird things on there. "Hey Ash check out this video." < -- I wish I were joking.
posted by Fizz at 9:43 AM on January 24, 2012


Not content with dominating all life on the planet, Facebook expands in the afterlife.
posted by DU at 9:44 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I saw a probably faked facebook conversation that involved a son, logged into his dead fathers facebook account, messing with family member. I wish I could find it.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:44 AM on January 24, 2012


There are lots of opportunity for larfs here, but there is also something worth thinking about. What of our electronic lives do we, can we control after we pass, and should we be able to? Should your Facebook pass with you, or should it stick around? For how long? A year? 10? A thousand?

So much of my life is lived online, and is therefore still accessible, sort of, even after it has happened, and I don't even have to go through the private intentionality of a journal. This is true for so many of us - at what point do we throw this all away? Or should we never? Will historians in hundreds of years follow the paths of individual users, from birth all the way through to death, a full lifetime via the incidental leavings of social networking? Or is this just a temporary thing, and within a few years those leavings will be eliminated by increased privacy, or new mediums, or what?

A fairly close friend of mine passed away recently, in a well-publicized manner, and her online life has been mined fairly extensively for press, and memorials. Her Facebook page is extremely active, and I don't know whether I am sad or glad that that little bit of her is still available.

What about MetaFilter? What will MetaFilter look like in 50 years, when many of us have passed on naturally? If it is no longer here, why? If it is here, how will the old ones be thought of?
posted by dirtdirt at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


A guy I sort of knew in college died recently, and Facebook has now started suggesting we become friends.
posted by emelenjr at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2012


I think I'll model mine after that classic videotaped will scene in the WKRP in Cincinnatti espisode, "Jennifer and the Will". Can't find it on YouTube, sigh, and it was such a gem I'd like to share it. "To my cousin Harold, who's always saying he's an all-or-nothing type of guy: you can't have it all so you get.... NOTHING."
posted by orange swan at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The afterlife is the first foreseeable time when I might actually have the available, disposable time to piddle around with a facebook page.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2012


They should buy http://deadbook.com/ and shift accounts there. Little in the way of networking opportunities though but the funeral business would love it. "Buy a coffin and get a FREE deadbook page!"
posted by episodic at 9:46 AM on January 24, 2012


Or, dirtdirt, we can all just quit Facebook and stop "living our lives" online.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:47 AM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this anything like arranging for a trusted friend to discreetly come to your house and remove all your porn?
posted by rocket88 at 9:47 AM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The afterlife is the first foreseeable time when I might actually have the available, disposable time to piddle around with a facebook page.

Quoth the MetaFilter commenter. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:48 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you don't need a real dead man's switch, then you could use deadmansswitch.net without going through facebook. You should not send important information like bank account numbers without encrypting it using GnuPG though.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:49 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or, dirtdirt, we can all just quit Facebook and stop "living our lives" online.

...ReeMonster typed into a messageboard.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:50 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


"If"?

Just imagine the app makers were German, since that language uses the same word for "if" and "when", which I kind of love. Makes somethings real confusing, though.*

*My German professor told us how he once had an argument with his (then) wife before leaving for work. His English still wasn't 100% at that point, and in an effort to get out the door sooner he told her "We'll discuss this later, if I come home." No amount of explanation to her or their therapist would convince them that it was an honest language mistake and not a threat.
posted by piratebowling at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hate to admit this but I was involved in an "online memorial" docom in the late 90s. The idea was to set up an online guestbook where people could post thoughts forever and ever. We ended up selling codes in bulk for a large company to give away as premiums. I think the major shareholders (of which I was not one) made a couple bucks on it.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:52 AM on January 24, 2012


For those wondering how: Report a Deceased Person's Profile.
posted by Fizz at 9:57 AM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


i think i'd be more interested in it closing my accounts after i died. i wouldn't want people to be facebook friends with a corpse. i can't even imagine the wall posts. ugh.

A friend died last year from cancer, and her husband has not yet closed her FB page. Last month we all got "It's Jane's Birthday!" notifications from FB. That was depressing.

Even more depressing were the people who posted generic "Have a great day!" messages on her wall. Another woman and I took the time to write to each of these people and make sure the know that she's passed away, but it sort of took me aback....
posted by anastasiav at 9:59 AM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


There was a show on This American Life with some undertaker dudes with a hi-tech tombstone they were selling where visitors could push a button and there would be a video with you singing them a song or reciting a poem or explaining your world view or whatever. Also: see Things to Do in Denver when You're Dead.

Of course it's subject to facebook's terms of service. That guy who shot himself on television a few years ago could never get his message out to facebook's users.
posted by bukvich at 10:05 AM on January 24, 2012


And when I die,
When I'm dead, dead and gone,
There'll be one child born in our world to carry on,
To carry on.
posted by tommasz at 10:05 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Strip me for parts and burn the rest.

That's it.
posted by Decani at 10:18 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've also had that song running through my head since I read the fpp. (For those who don't know it: here.)
posted by rtha at 10:19 AM on January 24, 2012


when i'm dead and i'm gone
won't you carry me along
to that little white church in my daddy's home town
cause lord knows I'm some kind of sinner
but i've done come this far
and it's too late for changing
when this race has been run
take me back where I come from
and let me return what I took from the ground
when this body won't carry me no further
take me back
and lay me down
posted by nathancaswell at 10:24 AM on January 24, 2012


And God won't take the time to sort your apps from mine.
posted by weinbot at 10:25 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


i would link to the song but he never fucking recorded it?
posted by nathancaswell at 10:25 AM on January 24, 2012


I'm waiting for a trio of jerks to all falslely claim their friend is dead just to hear the potentially embarassing "message from the grave".
posted by Theta States at 10:27 AM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


My dear friend L. died in 2007. Her LiveJournal is still up, with archives going back to 2001. Her last entry, something silly about then–Senator Obama, is still getting comments: "I miss you." "I saw something that made me think of you." A few happy-birthdays every August. Stuff like that,

I guess it could be seen as kind of morbid. And pretty much everything to do with LiveJournal is inherently a little silly. But—here's the thing. I don't believe in souls, or an afterlife, or anything like that. To me, dead is dead. Gone. No part of me believes she's aware we're still talking "to" her. But four, nearly five years on, I still check in on that entry, still read the comments. Sometimes I leave one of my own.

And I feel connected to her, still.
posted by Zozo at 10:28 AM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


take this opportunity to request that friends and family refrain from sexing yr corpse!
posted by supermedusa at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, joining Facebook makes death optional?

No. I think it actually starts the countdown.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can I just die without the Internet?
posted by eriko at 10:38 AM on January 24, 2012


By the way, those of you with common names and prime email addresses should probably think about what you'll do with them when you die. Personally I'm planning on naming at least one child with the same first initial as me.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:41 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


As the Undertaker to the Internet, I approve of this.
posted by ColdChef at 10:44 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Not sure how I feel about the app, but the ad for it is adorable.
posted by Mchelly at 10:49 AM on January 24, 2012


If [MetaFilter] is here, how will the old ones be thought of?

With the appropriate levels of awe of Lovecraftian horror, one should hope.
posted by asnider at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


...awe and Lovecraftian horror...
posted by asnider at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2012


My message will inform my Facebook friends that I've hidden something very valuable worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that I never told anyone about, and the first person to find it, using every little personal detail they know about me, will get to claim it as their own. I will then send everyone off on a wild, elaborate, globe-spanning treasure hunt with no solution. The entire charade will be filmed by a documentary crew and the proceeds from the resulting Sundance winning film will go to my inheritors. *rubs palms together*
posted by naju at 10:54 AM on January 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


What about those of us who committed suicide on Facebook?
posted by infini at 10:55 AM on January 24, 2012


My dear friend L. died in 2007. Her LiveJournal is still up, with archives going back to 2001. Her last entry, something silly about then–Senator Obama, is still getting comments: "I miss you." "I saw something that made me think of you." A few happy-birthdays every August. Stuff like that,

I guess it could be seen as kind of morbid. And pretty much everything to do with LiveJournal is inherently a little silly. But—here's the thing. I don't believe in souls, or an afterlife, or anything like that. To me, dead is dead. Gone. No part of me believes she's aware we're still talking "to" her. But four, nearly five years on, I still check in on that entry, still read the comments. Sometimes I leave one of my own.

And I feel connected to her, still.


This is why I am okay with social network pages lingering on post mortem. I have a colleague on my facebook lists who perished quite unexpectedly a couple of years ago, and his friends still post things in his wall occasionally, for the benefit of others who may still be reading.

In fact, one of my best friends died at a young age about ten years ago (pre-facebook). He wasn't very close to his family but he had a great circle of friends. When he died (while teaching English abroad), the school contacted his next of kin, his brother, who essentially shrugged and said "Scatter the ashes, if that is cheapest." It wasn't until weeks after he was cremated and spread across a hillside in China that any of us heard about the situation.

We talked a bit about doing something memorial-like, but it never happened. When the first anniversary of his death rolled around, a few of us began making telephone calls and asking others to spread the word until eventually about a dozen of us met in one of his favourite restaurants on the anniversary, everyone bringing along photos to pass around and sharing stories about him. Only two of us already knew -- however slightly -- everyone else at the table when we first arrived so even a year after he was gone, he was still bringing people together.

We discovered that he had capital taste in friends, and we have continued to do this every year. We all got new friends out of knowing him, and I know that some of us got new lovers as well.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:58 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I use a lot of social media for both work and pleasure and even before it was as mobile and omnipresent I was spending a lot of time online being social and 'living my life'.

I recently purchased 1Password to a) increase the security of my online accounts and b) should something happen to me, my partner need only remember one password in order to do what this service offers to do.

I don't quite understand the vitriol against our online lives overlapping and obfuscating the boundaries of our 'normal' lives. I mean, I remember a time before the Internet and it wasn't some halcyon age of brotherly love and true connectedness of, like, people, man. It just made it fucking hard or expensive to stay in touch with people I cared about who happened to be in other cities/countries. I'm sorry you feel an email is less personal than a telegram, but the good parts outweigh the negatives 100 to 1 as far as I'm concerned. These types of services that make people uncomfortable are just extensions of how Facebook etc. have become as important as home addresses or phone numbers once were.

Just because it is on Facebook doesn't mean it needs to be a "slimepuppy is.... dead." status update. The medium is not the message.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:08 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I die, Google Plus will inform people I e-mailed once in 2005 that they should add me to their "dead persons" circle.
posted by Gary at 11:08 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


jeffburdges' link appears to be dying:

NOTICE: This version will be obsoleted soon. If you're creating a new account, please do it at http://beta.deadmansswitch.net/ instead. If you already have an account, please move your messages there, it will have more features (including configurable email intervals). Thanks!

posted by IAmBroom at 11:11 AM on January 24, 2012


I'll tell my sons that there is treasure buried out in the garden. They'll dig everything up really thoroughly, and find nothing. Later, when their garden is blooming so much better due to the thorough aeration and mulching of the soil that they've unintentionally caused, they'll be all like "hey, that fucker tricked us into being better farmers".
posted by Meatbomb at 11:14 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I die
Think only this of me
That there is some corner of your Facebook wall
That is forever England.co.uk.
posted by yoink at 11:32 AM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Meatbomb, my plan is to tell whoever is at my deathbed to avenge me. Regardless of the actual cause of death. I will also be non-specific as to who is to be the target of their vengeance.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:34 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect no one would actually give a shit--so my final legacy would be a video with three views? No thanks.
posted by maxwelton at 11:44 AM on January 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Death is not a popularity contest, maxwelton.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:02 PM on January 24, 2012


> Death is not a popularity contest, maxwelton.

Yes, but I'm sure there are ways we can gamify it!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:07 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Achievement Unlocked: Deer Hunter
posted by nathancaswell at 12:14 PM on January 24, 2012


"Why, it's nothing but an animated GIF of him giving the finger!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:47 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Death is not a popularity contest, maxwelton.

That's not what the worms say.
posted by yoink at 1:33 PM on January 24, 2012


At the least, this thing has me writing my two young daughters a letter. I've been meaning to for a long time. A good reminder...
posted by mrgrimm at 1:36 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just imagine the app makers were German, since that language uses the same word for "if" and "when", which I kind of love. Makes somethings real confusing, though.

Wenn is used to denote both "if" and "whenever" and so would be used here, but "wann" and "als" are absolutely different words with different senses than "wenn."

Also- I think this is an awesome idea.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 2:01 PM on January 24, 2012


I haven't got three friends, which is maybe part of why I spend so much time thinking about dying in the first place.
posted by planet at 8:36 PM on January 24, 2012


I guess I'm the only one who finds this app incredibly morbid.
posted by fanipman at 9:18 AM on January 25, 2012


I'd say the standard (American) attitude toward death (i.e. ignoring it and pretending we won't die) is a lot more morbid.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:31 AM on January 25, 2012


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