I’ve been putzing around on the internet for what seems like an eternity. I’ve gone by many names (on ICQ my name was ambercrombie…. yeah….) but these days my readers know me as amberherself. I post on WordPress, Facebook, Blogger, Goodreads, GoMiso, Pinterest (soon!), Twitter… the list goes on. From all of my years of interneting I’ve made many online friends. The majority of whom I’ve never met but do genuinely care about from reading their own online posts. I know about their families, friends, how their doing in school, what their favourite movies are…. The internet has brought so many strangers together it’s utterly incredible.
I read a very sad blog post today about a woman who didn’t know her friend that she corresponded with online died of cancer while living in a homeless shelter in Detroit – read the story here.- This story touched me in many ways because I experienced something similar in 2005.
When I was in my second year of university I chatted here and there with a soldier from Iowa who was stationed in Iraq. His name was Casey Byers and I can’t remember how we came into contact with one another, but we used MSN Messenger to shoot the shit when he was bored on duty and I didn’t want to write my Sociology papers. Given that he was stationed overseas, his internet access was intermittent at best so him being offline for long periods of time wasn’t uncommon. One day, after not speaking for a few weeks, he came online and I sent him a message,”Hey! Long time no talk!” The reply followed soon after, “This is Casey’s sister. Casey died in Iraq a couple weeks ago.” I was shocked, saddened and at a loss for words. I offered my condolences and said goodbye. If Casey’s sister hadn’t signed onto his email I would have had no idea he had been killed in the line of duty.
Would anyone notice if I disappeared from Twitter or stopped posting on Facebook? What would my very last tweet be? I’d guess something silly like, “Watching The Vampire Diaries. OMG Damon is so hot!” or maybe a picture of my dogs being cute. I hope that the online presence I leave behind isn’t something horribly bitchy or mean. I’m not like that IRL so I wouldn’t want my internet legacy to be like that either.
I would want all of my ‘presence’ taken down if I had an unimtely death… Facebook account deactivated, Twitter account deleted, websites removed… I find it slightly creepy to think that people may post on my Facebook wall in an attempt to speak to me from beyond the grave. I don’t believe in an afterlife so the thought of people wasting time posting on a dead person’s Facebook wall makes me giggle. Living forever, even online, isn’t my cup of tea : )
Not sure where I’m going with this and I’m REALLY sorry if I’ve bummed you out…. I think what I just want to say is: “Don’t you go dying on me!” I like all of you way too much.