Facebook App Allows You to Connect….From Beyond the Grave

In our increasingly digitalized world, there’s an expression advising that, should you pass away unexpectedly, a good friend will mourn you while a great friend will erase your computer’s Internet browsing history. With that thought in mind, consider this: a new application for Facebook is available that allows you to post messages on your own profile or send messages to friends in the event that you meet an untimely demise.

Appropriately called “If I Die,” the app requires you to choose three “trustees ” – essentially a trio of Facebook friends – who are reliable enough to verify your passing on the social networking site. Once they’ve done so, a message (print or video) appears on your profile at a time (or intervals of time) that you designated when you were lucky enough to be above ground. As well, you can schedule messages to be sent to loved ones at designated times or on specific days, such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Imagine the possibilities: a heartfelt message to your spouse on the first wedding anniversary after your passing. Or, perhaps more intriguing, a post that pops up on your kids’ profile on random school nights exclaiming, “Get off Facebook and do your homework!” Responsible parenting from beyond the grave.

Of course, your personal messages will likely drive online traffic to your Facebook page. Think of it as a wake being held in your own home. It’d be advisable to do some “house cleaning” in the event that you kick the bucket and no one bothers to mop up the digital mess. Let’s face it: mourners would find it difficult to take your final word and testament seriously if it appeared above a photo of you in a tutu with a lampshade on your head from your “Big 5-0” surprise party.

On the plus side, once the makers of the app expand the service, you could tell those who you were too shy to admonish while alive what you really think. Perhaps, as part of your final testament, you tell your wife’s nosy sister how you feel about her by taking her off your list of friends from the relative safety of the afterlife. And we can only hope that Facebook expands the app to allow users to salt the digital earth of everyone who continuously invites them to join Farmville.

Still, despite the ever-increasing online presence many of us seem to enjoy, there’s something that seems a little unsettling about the If I Die app. Maybe it will take some time to get used to. Or maybe, it simply needs to evolve one step further to allow digital haunting. Imagine how funny it would be to haunt your friends online – you as an apparition popping up occasionally and yelling “Boo!”

Now THAT would be an app to die for.

-Mike Crisolago