Death’s Not Dead! Leastwise Not Online

Dying is no reason to give up online social life
Richard Mullins, Tampa Tribune (May 26, 2009)

In this AP article, Mullins gives a snapshot of some of the online memorializing and alert services available from or through funeral homes or independent providers. Want your loved ones emailed reminders about your death anniversary for all eternity? No problem. Get swept up by the Rapture and need to pass on some last minute instructions, warnings and/or neener-neeners to all the heathens in your life? You’re covered.

It makes sense that our desire to express ourselves in life carries over into death—and web tech being the medium du jour, why not a virtual cemetery? Nor is it surprising that creative (and often, *ahem*, exploitative) minds look to make a buck on new trends and technology, especially when selling—or better, collecting rent on—essentially nothing for someone who doesn’t even realize it’s happening.

But it is interesting that we look to the web—a rapidly, constantly changing beast—for permanence and perpetuity. It is no small irony that the site EternalSpace.com (profiled in the article), where you can pimp your loved one’s virtual Zen Garden memorial with golf clubs and other swag (for additional fees, of course), is no longer operational.

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