The title of this post might look a bit out of place or absurd. I haven’t cracked the riddle to that as yet :) however it has definitely flummoxed the best from human race. No one knows about what happens after Death. But today I want to touch upon a more subtle subject and sooner you are going to understand the relevance of the same. But before that lets start with something else.
We are bound by time ! None in this universe is Immortal or lets say put it this way every living, non-living entity in this universe is bound to change into some form or other. As we tread through the different stages of life we meet people, visit new places, make or try something new, innovate, bring up a thought process etc. In way we leave our footprint in some way or the other and are remembered by the same. Hence there is a well known saying that “A person dies however his/her belongings, ideas, thoughts, deeds survive”. As a result we do care a lot to ensure that all these belongings are carried forward in a rightful manner.
Now without being too philosophical here, the point is that accordingly we try to organise our lives in a way to align ourselves with the same and make suitable arrangements at different stages in life. We try to cover the risk factors in case of eventuality, make adaptions to make sure that our legacies are carried forward. To summarise we have an idea about our “Will”.
During the last decade there has been an explosion in the area of consumer electronics. Right from the mobile phones, TVs, computers, laptops, tablets and loads of digital equipments – the list is endless. First there were devices and then the devices were made online “always connected to the internet” and now “connected to each other” – its called “Internet Of Things”or IOT. The point is as the digital electronics gains more and more significance in today’s life – so even we start living in two different worlds at the same time. The one is a “Physical Life” whereas the other is sort of let’s call it a “Virtual of Digital Life“.
Now drawing an analogy here have we ever given a thought about our “Digital Footprint” or to say our “Digital Life”? Since we belong to the First Generation Digitally Active (FGDA) group, I believe there has been a little awareness about the same.
Let me try to put the implications of the same. In today’s connected world we voluntarily or involuntarily share a lot of information about ourselves.
- The social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr belong to the first category.
- When we surf the internet, make queries, look for holiday destinations, choose and shop a pair of shoes online, purchase a book etc we are involuntarily contributing to the later category.
In a way, if all the digital information is to be plotted then,
- We can be visualised as Actors/Entities acting as the Nodes of a Large Connected Graph – where each node is generating loads of information
- And our relationship with each other node forms the Edge of the graph
Now each node has zero to many relationship with other nodes and that aggregates a whole lot of information about us. And it goes without saying that internet giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook etc. thrive on this information and pursue their commercial interests. Whether its right or wrong is totally different debate altogether. In general we don’t care but we are an active critic whenever the debate arises.
But if you ask me then my answer would be, if you give away your information freely on internet, you want to be socially active and liked persona, you want to avail free services on internet – then you don’t have a right to complain about it. Your views may differ !!
However you should responsibly think about,
How much do you care about such leftover information or traces ?
Have you ever though about checking how do I look on Internet ?
Are you aware of your digital presence ?
Can we or anyone else simply unplug the same ?
The whole idea here is to increase the general awareness about our online presence and take it more seriously as we do in our non-digital life.
In my opinion, we should
- make ourselves equipped with privacy details made available by every other social networking site
- know about how the same can be passed on when we are not there anymore
- be critical about what we share and be aware of the consequences
- keep an eye on silent watchers when we surf the internet
At the moment there is no perfect recipe to address the same. However some companies like Facebook have realised the same and have started providing unique offerings like a “Digital Will” to pass on the information to a known person as a part of legacy.
The company will let you choose who, if anyone, has access to parts of your account after you die. Conversely, you can also tell Facebook to delete your account in the event of your death. You can choose whether that person is allowed to download a file of all your pictures and posts for safekeeping. To trigger the will, your friends or family will need to put in a memorial request to Facebook. The person you grant access to will be able to add new friends to your profile, update your profile and cover photo, and write a memorial message that appears pinned to the top of your page. But they won’t be able to log in as you or view your personal messages.
The more aware we are about our “Digital Life” the more we can ensure that our information is in the safe hands. Currently even there aren’t any concrete rules governing the same. We, as in customers/users, take this up seriously the stricter rules will follow sooner or later.
Though everyone seeks a long life however making arrangements for the D-Day are should not be forgotten !