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Tweet From the Grave: Startup Launches Afterlife Social Media


When you die, will you be forgotten?  Will all the social media followers you’ve spent so much of your waking hours gathering suddenly disappear?  Will you be able to stay on top of what’s trending on Twitter or even participate in the conversation?

Well, death-defiers, now you can thanks to a new Twitter service!

LivesOn will allow you to carry on your stream of consciousness in 140 characters or less from beyond the grave.

The Daily Mail notes that the service, developed by London-based advertising agency Lean Mean Fighting Machine, will analyze your Twitter feeds to learn your ‘likes, tastes, [and] syntax’ to continue posting similar messages, updates and links after you’ve passed.

Friends will barely know you’re gone.

This postmortem app, due to launch in March, promises: ‘When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.’

Dave Bedwood, one of the minds behind LivesOn, is prepared for some pushback:  “It divides people on a gut level, before you even get to the philosophical and ethical arguments,” he said.

“It offends some, and delights others. Imagine if people started to see it as a legitimate but small way to live on. Cryogenics costs a fortune; this is free and I’d bet it will work better than a frozen head.’

LivesOn uses artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze your behavior and style of writing while you’re alive and kicking (or tweeting), and also scours the internet for the kinds of links you may have posted.  All of this creates a personal digital afterlife.

Not least among the concerns raised is how will this affect the grieving process for family, knowing that their deceased loved one might retweet them at any moment?  Knowing that one’s dead relative is now a Twitter ghost is not likely to cause warm fuzzies.

And I suppose it’s only a matter of time before someone tweets during his own funeral.  Awkward!

You wonder if this sort of thing will catch on, and if any dead tweeters will actually be able to keep any followers.  After all, if a tweet issues from a dead user and no one is following her, can the Internet actually hear it?


About Bryan Berghoef

Bryan Berghoef writes and tweets from the nation's capital, and enjoys facilitating conversation and connection, preferably over a craft beer. Check out his latest resource, Pub Theology 101: A Guide to Cultivating Meaningful Conversations at the Pub, available for Kindle. Visit pubtheologian.com for Bryan's latest thoughts.
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