Planning My WordPress Afterlife

When I have time and the creative juices are oozing, I write several blogs then schedule them throughout the month.  That way I can travel or sloth around in slippers without ever turning on the computer.  And now I’ve realized it’s a way to speak from the afterlife.  BWHAAA HAAA HAAA!

You know how I hate change, but I think I have a way to make this altered technology work for me. I can schedule posts into the year 2909… living on the grid…but not with a beating heart or aspirating lungs.

This epiphany came about from an article in the Oregonian (June 28) concerning legislation being drafted to allow family members access to deceased relatives’ virtual assets.

Numerous situations are occurring in which someone goes to the great beyond leaving behind family photos on Flickr, e-mail bills, or possibly a Facebook page full of derogatory comments from people who weren’t so fond of the deceased (Note to self: deactivate FB page.)

Online companies guard passwords and contents as though it were the Constitution: Look at the public stuff, but don’t touch. (See some of the post-mortem policies below.) As in the case of an Oregon schoolteacher who tried to access her son’s account after he died in a motorcycle accident.  It took a 2 year legal battle for FB to grant her 10 months of access before shutting down the account.

If you conduct your banking on-line, pay e-mail bills, and e-trade with the talking baby, you could be in trouble if zombies attack, meteors hit, or you happen to pass to the afterlife in the next hour, day, or year.

Panicked yet?  Well lawyers are hoping you’re motivated to at least leave an instruction sheet with your will, designating a trusted person access to user names and passwords for each of your accounts, along with instructions of what to do—like save the hidden off-shore fortune and delete the pictures of the 2011 Naked Bicycle Ride.  Put it with your will, so it’s enforced at confirmation of your death.

There are companies who will warehouse your passwords for you and follow your

Yeah, just gimme all your passwords. My Company, Invisible Tomorrows, will take care of ’em.

post-life instructions, but some attorneys caution against these companies. What if they go out of business?  And do you really want your most sensitive information kept by some guy in on-line storage?

I’m looking at my virtual assets differently.  Since I don’t have schlock besides the treasures in the Souvenir Shop (see tab above), I’m using the afterlife to nag great-great grandchildren with posts scheduled in the future. Heck, I’ll even commemorate my birthday each year until people say, “Who was that old gal and why’s she hosting an annual  Snark-At-Your-Neighbor event?

Now all I have to do is sit down and write  4,703 posts.

To perpetuity and beyond!!!

 Death Policies:

Here are abbreviated policies. For more details contact the company:

Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo will deactivate accounts with death certificates, written requests, and notarized statements indicating relationship to the deceased.  The account simply stops. They do not grant access to the accounts.

Facebook: Memorializes the account, making it visible only to friends who can leave remembrance posts. With proper paperwork the account can be deleted…but access is not granted to the content.

Google: Let’s just say it’s a lengthy process; requiring many legal documents, a formal petition and a second step that could require a court order to access content.

WordPress: I’m still waiting to hear from them.

 In other words…what are you planning for your online afterlife?

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Change, Choices, Humor, Satire and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Planning My WordPress Afterlife

  1. Silva Gang says:

    Great post! You make me laugh with these random thoughts of yours! Annual Snark-At-Your-Neighbor event, huh?! Ha ha! I suppose I could bang out a few thousand Haunt-the-Neighbors-from-the-Grave posts as well! 😉

    Like

  2. Now you got me thinking. That is one great thought. I will probably hand it to my son. May be he’ll continue the legacy. Beautiful and fun post my friend. Thanks. Take care.

    Like

  3. Tara says:

    I never thought about it until last year – when my 38-year-young brother passed away suddenly. He was a techo-guru and everything from bills to the TV-remote was somehow connected to one electronic do-dad or another. The family is STILL trying to straighten it out. We had to close the bank account THREE TIMES (with the death certificate and correct paperwork) because it automatically re-opened when an auto-payment came through and we had to track down yet ANOTHER vendor we had no clue about. I think FaceBook, Amazon and a slew of other accounts are still open and active. There’s no way the family can close them without the “magic words.”

    So for the sake of family and friends – LEAVE A LIST behind!! If you are planning for the State to take over your inheritance… well, at least your last tax dollars will not go to waste as you laugh from the pearly gates. 😀

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Bless you, Tara. Thanks for adding some gravity. It IS a serious problem, even though we make light of it. Just on-line bill pay alone is a nightmare to find all the accounts and get everything stopped. Good luck to you and your family in getting detail clean-up. May your frustrations be over soon.

      Like

  4. Call me old-fashioned. I’m just going to have my head frozen.

    Like

  5. Al says:

    You’ve sold me, Barb. And since it was your idea, I’m sending you all my financial passwords by separate email. Thanks for taking care of this for me.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Re: those financial passwords? Barb’s email address is pegoleg@aol.com. Just FYI, Al.

      Like

      • Al says:

        I suspected all along you were writing another blog under a pseudonym! The passwords are in the mail, Barb, if that’s your real name. Let me just hit sen…uh oh…wait….damn…..this comput…is…crashi——————————————————————————————————————

        Like

        • Barb says:

          Dear. PegoLeg
          Why are the IRS agents at my door? And why…when I call your phone about this silly mix-up…your voicemail says you’re in the Maldives?

          Like

        • Al says:

          I’m just glad my computer crashed when it did, Barb. Just in case, though, I’ve put a block on all my accounts, that Peg is a wily one.

          Like

  6. JSD says:

    Love the tombstone photo, but I’m just leaving the PWs to my children to do with as they please.

    Like

  7. Pat says:

    Hmm. Think I need to invent a virtual bomb. I’m not sure that posterity will welcome a lot of my stuff. Novels, of course, and some short stories too, I expect to be enveloped in some sort of enduring plastic to people to bow down to in the future (sic!), but most of my scribbles are unconsidered drivel. The idea of anyone getting hold of those in a couple of decades does not fill me with delight.
    Thus, the virtual bomb. I may need to contact a few people on that. Any ideas?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      You can hire people to do that, Pat. They “say” they’ll wipe those Vegas pictures out of your Flicker account…or they’ll sell it to one of those rags you see in the grocery checkouts.

      Like

  8. mj monaghan says:

    Wow, this was really interesting, Barb. I had never given any thought to what happens with electronic stuff after we die. I’m sure publishers will be clamoring trying to get my WP posts after I move on. hehe

    Really, this is good food for thought. I never even considered the password issue. Good one.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Just rest your mind MJ and send me your WordPress password. I’ll take care of the rest. Your future posts will be about a strawberry-eating hound that solves crimes. You’ll love it.

      Like

  9. Great GooglyMoogly! I wish I had never read this post. Now I’ve got something entirely new to worry about. Or at least ponder. Hummmm. I wonder if there is some advantage to this?

    Like

  10. I love the idea of scheduling posts for the future. Ghost posts. Hmmm.

    Like

  11. Margie says:

    I’ve been thinking about your observations a lot in the past few weeks. Husband was in a motorcycle accident, and his body and brain aren’t working all that well right now. I’ve been overwhelmed by all the stuff I don’t know, don’t have access to, or don’t know how to do because it was his job to do these things. Of course, he would say the same thing if he was in my shoes. Life in the digital age is complicated.

    Like

  12. Nisha says:

    Good heavens, I’m here suffering with blogger’s block and you’re there planning posts for the afterlife! Just one question though? Who will reply to the comments? 😛

    I often wondered what would happen to my blog if something happened to me. I better start writing out my will…

    Like

  13. pegoleg says:

    Hey, I have practically that exact same black leather jacket with the chevron pattern! For some reason that seemed important to note.

    Oh, yeah, great post, BTW.

    Like

  14. souldipper says:

    Okay, Barb! Now you’ve done it. I’ve been cutting back on blogging and computing. Now I have to write for when I’m dead? What if we write a post saying we are dead – so we can see what it will do to the stats! F-U-N. That would be better than worrying about who will be paying the bills.

    Like

  15. Red says:

    I have left firm instructions. My email account will send out a vacation setting noting all future correspondence should be sent to a special email address. Other than that, let the little monsters fight the online battle to see what I have said about them 🙂

    And no, the guy with the mustache and keyboard is not getting my stinking passwords. For that matter, they will pay hell just trying to access what is in my BlackBerry, and they can hold that without a court order. Bwahahaha!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Wow, Ann. You’ve really planned ahead. I wonder if our digital treaures are like my mother-in-law’s treasures. The same booty we dropped into black plastic bags and had hauled away after she died. But she guarded all of it like it was gold while she was still alive. Makes you wonder what the kids really will choose to keep.

      Like

  16. Thank you, Barb. As always you have the fingers on the pulse…er-non-pulse of what we need to know.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Georgette. Actually I have my fingers on Cheetos at this moment. Of course, that’s a way to clog up the ol’ pulse before I’ve gotten my 1,000 plus posts written.

      Like

  17. Alice Lynn says:

    Gee Whiz and I thought dying would be a cinch. All I had to do (to be responsible) was to leave a will. Now it seems that these internet “sites” we subscribe to are really some weird ongoing karma that follows you right to the pearly gates! Dang! I don’t even want to think what they could do in the other place!.

    Like

  18. I have to get going on this one; always think about it, but so far nothing done. Thanks for the reminder!

    Like

  19. Helen says:

    Better get busy…I’m on it right now!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Helen. You don’t have to rush around. Remember my sleazy agency Invisible Tomorrows is ready to divest you of all important information. Especially your recipe for Juliana’s Pear Syrup. Yum.

      Like

  20. My plan is a page in a lined notebook where I’ve been writing down usernames and passwords ‘just in case.’ I really need hubby to do the same as he has the important ones like banking! I’d be screwed.

    Like

  21. momaescriva says:

    If I wasn’t so interesting in my real life, who in the world would want to read me when I’m dead and gone?

    Like

  22. digipicsphotography says:

    I plan on leaving myself a bunch of notes of what to do and not to do in my next life….especially how to become a kazillionaire!

    Like

  23. chanknits says:

    What an interesting post. Thank you. I’m pretty sure my husband couldn’t care less about my digital media afterlife, but…

    Like

  24. dorannrule says:

    LOL – This is absolutely hilarious! And fascinating! And maybe not so far fetched after all! If I arrange to be cloned, would that double the action? Love it. 🙂

    Like

  25. More planning than I can handle this morning… but it does raise some interesting questions!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Yes, I plan to put instructions to important things like how to jiggle the toilet in the back room to get it to stop running, and where the spare key is, if I can ever remember where it is myself.

      Like

  26. Your post is informative and a hoot, Barb. I especially loved the saying on the tombstone. I’ve joked with my kids that mine will say: “Read my blog.” I know you’ll be extremely busy writing for the future and beyond. Thank you for visitng and commenting on my blog.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for returning the visit and pushing the coveted “follow” button. Now I’m up to. 4 followers, but 2 of those are ghosts from the afterlife.

      Like

  27. Roxie Matthews says:

    I dunno – I kind of like the idea of being a virtual echo in abyss of the internet after I pass on to the great motherboard. I ain’t closing anything.

    Like

  28. This was so funny! And scary. I’ve been on the fence about deleting my FB account…seems I’d better just get to it now. I certainly don’t want my grandkids reading the inane stuff I posted as my status updates… (those pictures were hysterical!)

    Hm…maybe I should start scheduling WP posts for 50 years from now. Looks like I’ve got lots of writing to do…

    Like

    • Barb says:

      The best advice I’ve ever heard about FB? It was in an interview with founder of Tumblr. He said if you have problems with the privacy policy of Facebook, then you’d best solve it by not using FB. Okay…that’s how it works, huh?

      Like

  29. Elyse says:

    Hilarious, Barb. I need to do a codicile to the will I haven’t yet got!

    Like

  30. xtremeenglish says:

    very helpful post! who knew Google would be such a tough nut for my “heirs” (mad, hysterical laughter) to crack? Thanks for the tips.

    Like

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