“You’re Doing WHAT?” or What Friends & Family Think About the If I Die App

My last post introducing the If I Die app and my intention to create my own video as a “social media project” certainly prompted some interesting conversations with friends and family over the past few weeks.

Scene 1: The Internet
In the same setting where I receive the most immediate reactions about life events, people weighed in with their opinions of the service:

Twitter:

Blog:

If I Die reactions

Facebook:

If I Die reactions If I Die reactions If I Die reactions If I Die reactions

Scene 2: Drinks with friends at our local (The Rhino)

Shortly after my initial post the topic came up during drinks with a large group of my friends at our favourite local watering hole, The Rhino.

Overall, none of my friends are surprised or impressed by the funny or strange stuff that comes out of the internet (which, if it hasn’t been clear up until now, is exactly how I see the If I Die project). Most said they wouldn’t use the service unless they were terminally ill.

Scene 3: The Family Dinner Table

I was really surprised in the silence of my usually quite vocal and opinionated family members when I published the article to my social networks. However a trip home for a family dinner with

Seated at a long table with my parents, brothers, aunt and uncle and maternal grandparents, my aunt brought up the app and my experiment. She thought it was a really interesting concept

Scene 4: Right Now.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in sunny Austin, Texas with one of my best friends as she hammers out work for her grad program and I work on my own various projects. As I was finishing up this post she interrupted our fervent typing to ask what I was working on. I explained the If I Die app, which she had read about on my blog when the original post was published and we had a bit of a discussion. These were the main points:

  • If someone close to her had recorded their last words or a message before they died, she would certainly want to see it.
  • The thought of these sorts of apps makes her uncomfortable because not only is it unsettling to think about her friends and family dying (especially at our age) but also because it’s a bit upsetting to think about what somebody’s last words would be.
  • She would not do it herself unless she had a terminal illness.
  • Even then, her social media personality is very reserved for professional reasons. Due to the personal and private nature of these thoughts and feelings, she probably wouldn’t use a social media-based application to publish her last words.

What’s interesting to me is that no one voiced an opinion of my participation or talked about what they would want to talk about in one of the videos! I’m going to be creating my own video this weekend and am wondering what I should say.

What would you say for your “last words”? 

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