Dead Man’s Switch for Digital Hermits

If something happened to you, who’d shut off your greedy utility’s auto-billing? Perhaps you’re friendless or hermetic. (Some of us are—no shame.) But who’d make sure you weren’t just sitting in your recliner, sadly expired, and therefore unable to turn off endless reruns of Judge Judy? How do you actually execute that eternal threat of crime fiction, “And just in case you get any wise ideas, upon my death, the evidence will be sent to. . .” 

What you need, blogpals, is the 21st century’s electronic version of a Dead Man’s Switch.  As the company notes:

Bad things happen. Sometimes, they happen to you. If something does happen, you might wish there was something you had told the people around you. How you feel, what you regret, where the money is stashed.
For this, you need a dead man’s switch. . .

You write a few e-mails and choose the recipients. These emails are stored securely, so you can be sure that no-one except the intended recipient will ever read them. Your switch will email you every so often, asking you to show that you are fine by clicking a link. If something were to… happen… to you, your switch would then send the emails you wrote to the recipients you specified. Sort of an “electronic will”, one could say.

You can specify the intervals at which you’d like them to hold their virtual mirror up to your mouth, and the service even has a free tier, if you don’t need to customize the sending intervals and you’re only sending e-mails to 2 people.

I’m tempted to make my first e-mail to a lawyer, to handle the complexities of dispersing my vast estate, of course. But the second?  Maybe to the cable company to let them know there’s no way they’re getting their crappy receiver back. Maybe to someone who’s never liked me. “[My name here] is dead. At least you’re having a good day.”

If you only had 2 post-mortem contacts, who would they be?

Image via Make:zine

Comments

  1. Christopher Morgan

    Finally, after all these years, I get to start an email, “If you’re reading this, I am probably dead…”

  2. Laura K. Curtis

    I should probably post this anonymously, but here goes…

    If I only had two, I’d send one sort of legal-y one to my younger brother the lawyer so he could inform everyone else, and then one to my sister going “so sorry, but now the family issues are all yours.”

  3. Terrie Farley Moran

    @cmorgan–I’ve been waiting all my life to have a way to send that message, especially to my enemies so they can do the happy dance as soon as possible. I tormented them enough while I was alive. . . @Laura– EXACTLY! I just have to sub my son, the lawyer and my daughter for your brother and sister. Families are the same all over.

  4. walter

    There’s another company providing the same service.
    They even explain how to “test” their system without actually dying. Their name is “After Message” (aftermessage.com)

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