Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dying Online.

When I saw this NY Time article this morning about how Facebook is coping with the issue of what to do with people's accounts after they die, it reminded me of a diary entry I wrote long ago back when I was an "Internet pioneer." It also set me to thinking about levels of society in our culture.

Since I was under a "death diagnosis" at the time, I was ruminating on my own death and it hit me that my words, here in the last moments of my life, would actually live on forever because of new Internet thingie. None of us who were early adopters, who weren't computer experts, really knew where the Internet was. It seemed more like a wonder of nature, newly uncovered. Like gravity (which, apparently, might also be an illusion).

For the first time in history, a peasant, non-royal life is sitting in the class of Everything That Is and raising its hand saying, "Here."

Coming from Buna, Texas, it was my first chance at having a voice.

From this moment on, anyone wanting to know what life was like for me, or that I even existed, could just look me up, online. (I started to write "google me," but then remembered that Google hadn't been invented at that time.)

At the time, I was reading history books about the creation of Christianity, and others about the Middle Ages, realizing that the only written accounts we have from those periods tend to be whatever the royalty, or other privileged persons in society, allowed. (It seems so obvious now, but back then, it was pretty heady stuff.)

Since I wasn't expected to live much longer, I poured it all out.

But, I have to confess, it's not enough. What I really want is people singing my songs.

See how selfish I am? And on a Sunday morning, too!
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