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You quit but do you save?

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SHAIL RAGHUVANSHI

Many would find it rather strange, if not hilarious, to even think about such a thing as an online legacy. We use our email accounts, attachments, Facebook, MySpace ids, practically all things related to our online persona, without even an afterthought of what will happen to them after our death. When so many of us don't even manage to draw a will of our ‘offline assets' before we die, where is the inclination to think about email accounts?

Death does not always come with a warning, does it? Most of the time, we are unprepared. If we were to suddenly take off from this earthly abode, what would happen to our active online accounts?

Would our online accounts get de-activated after a few months of inactivity? Would our virtual accounts be generously allotted to the next of our immediate kin? Who would do that? What about all the online friends who don't exactly know where we live?

Don't these appear like too many insipid questions for a world suffering from more serious problems? So I knock myself on the head for indulging in such senseless reflection, but the aimless pondering carries on. I try to imagine my daily online workout. I think about the people I communicate with, persons who take the trouble to leave a message to acknowledge or appreciate. Would it really matter to them if I suddenly disappear from online space? After all, I am just a speck in the vast World Wide Web (www). Of course, people who really make a difference or in whose lives I have made a difference might be concerned about my sudden ‘no-response,' ‘no comment,' no activity,' ‘no mail' status. So how do they get to know that I have taken off? My family does not share my passwords. So, what do they do? It is funny because I am doubly sure that the world wouldn't care two hoots once we are out of the earthly abode.

We will have plenty on our plate (perhaps, in our astral form!) to worry about, and I am sure online legacy cannot certainly be one.

But what about the thousands of people who can't let even a single day pass by without making their presence recorded in online space? No wonder, we are coming up with the concept of online will wherein a person makes a will and grants the rights of his/her accounts to the people he/she prefers (friend, spouse or stranger). Once you die, the person gets access to your account and carries out all that you asked him/her to do in your online will. Thus, you become something like an ‘online account donor.' There are also ‘automated notify-after death services' too that provide certain services like sending messages to specific people after your death.

Does it really matter what happens to all our personal data littered in space after we take off? I knock myself on the head again. This time I do it twice, to push away any further thought about such probabilities. I would rather enjoy my present, express my love to my loved ones, heal cracks, spread joy around me and then finally take off without a grudge or grouse. To hell with online legacy! What do you say?

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