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Thursday, August 7, 2008

How would you know if I died?

In 1975, if someone died you would have read about it in the paper - having scanned the death notices (along with births, engagements and weddings) for familiar names.

But what about in 2008? I know my Mum used to check the death notices before scanning the headlines and doing the crossword and I think my aunties do too.

But I don't and nor do many of my friends (a lot don't buy newspapers anymore). Nor do any of the colleagues and students I canvassed yesterday.

I'd say we're not alone. My Mum died a few weeks ago and we got a few kind phone calls after the fact from people who'd heard she was sick and wondered how she was doing.

Close friends and immediate family get a phone call. But if my extended circle of friends and colleagues don't check death notices, how are they going to know I've died?


Sarah Byles said...

I often think a bit like this as well, with technology changing and leaving some behind or some missing out on the old things by embracing the new, how do we all keep together?

My mother still reads the obituary/births/engagements section. But now that I think about it, I'm sortof afraid that I'll miss something. What about all the people I have met in the last 19 years of my life? Are they okay? Are they still around?

Julie Starr said...

Yeah, I've met a lot of people in the past 30 years who I'd like to hear about from time to time as well, and know if they've died.

Some people might talk about your death on Facebook or Twitter, say. But others would only pick up on that if they happened to be reading their FB news feed while it's still on the front page, or watching Twitter when the tweet was fresh (either that or be very assiduous in reading through older posts).

And lots of people I know don't hang out online.

SNICE said...

Interesting post, I have wondered this myself.

My Mum and Dad read the newspaper every single day, and always inform me of people they think I know that have passed away.

But for people my age, I know they don't read the newspaper.

The thing that I worry about is that if I myself die unexpectedly, how will people who use technology know that I am no longer around. I have a lot of different passwords for different sites, and not one person knows all of them.

It makes you think.

Julie Starr said...

I was thinking about that password thing too. That maybe I should simply it all, make a list and give it to someone trusted.

I was talking to someone earlier this week who said they'd been unable to get into one of their Dad's accounts after he died.

It really does make you think.

SNICE said...

A lot of people I know, aren't really up with the play with some internet things, email is pretty much what they can do.

So my idea was to have all passwords and instructions, including screen shots, or even screen capture video all stored onto a flash drive, and give it to a trusted person, with instructions not to open unless something major happened to me.

Only problem is, what if you change your passwords for whatever reason.

Julie Starr said...

Yeah, I reckon you'd keep yourself pretty busy keeping it updated.

Maybe you update it every so often along with your will?