You and I are gonna live forever.

We are some way from achieving biological immortality. But, as we share more and more of ourselves online, our digital presences and relationships will outlive us all.

A friend of mine died recently. It was incredibly sad as he was only 33, and it happened so unexpectedly.

But something happened that was a very new experience for me. My friend’s Facebook page became a sort of social shrine. Hundreds of messages started flooding on to his wall from people who wanted to share their feelings with others who were also in mourning.

At least for me, it turned into quite a positive and totally social experience: There was something uplifting about seeing this man’s spirit live on in the photos, messages, and minds of so many who knew him.

What used to be merely a cliché – that we all live on in people’s memories – showed itself to be quite literally true, thanks to people’s newfound willingness to share their feelings on the web for others to see.

As the web learns more and more info about you and your habits, I guess the remaining question is: what do you want your digital legacy to be? Does it change the way you act when you consider that everything you are doing online (and soon maybe everything you are doing anywhere) is being stored for eternity?

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6 thoughts on “You and I are gonna live forever.

  1. sonja says:

    Great message Dan and so well written. I’m sorry for your loss.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Daniel Goodall, Juhani Polkko. Juhani Polkko said: [share] You and I are gonna live forever. http://is.gd/fKpfg […]

  3. surya says:

    I have been in the same situation 4 yrs back. A friend from my MBA school hung himself as he had some regenerative disease which was not curable.His Orkut page is still there, and someone posts stuff there once in a while…

    I am sorry that you had experience this. Hope you feel better as time passes.

  4. dagood says:

    @surya thanks for the sympathy.

    like I said, it was definitely a sad experience to lose someone so young.

    But it was also uplifting to think that so many people would say such heartwarming things about my friend, which means that he touched a lot of lives and left a genuinely positive legacy.

    religion aside, maybe that’s something we can all strive for.

  5. So sad… he was so young.

    I’ve been thinking something similar recently. A few years ago a work associate died. You wasn’t that social and he had certainly never touched a computer or the internet. I thought to myself, what a waste, all those memories and moments lost, if only he had recorded his thoughts in video, words and audio, those moments could have lived on forever for all his progeny to enjoy…

    I recently started recording small 3 to 5 minute videos of every interesting day out, holiday or event that my wife and I enjoy. When our time comes they’ll be thousands of hours of footage – combine the videos with my Twitter account, blogs and iTunes playlists and future generations will have a very good idea of who I was and what I stood for.

    I’m sure many of our generation will be able to say the same.

  6. dagood says:

    @James Burland

    So true.

    Our lives are recorded in a way that was unimaginable only a few years ago, which, privacy issues aside, is going to make a great record of who we were and what we stood for.

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