This One Term May Help

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“I was watching a commercial that showed a toddler walking across the room, and all of a sudden I was choked up and on the edge of tears. Out of nowhere, I was overwhelmed in an instant. I don’t even have kids.”

Anyone at a funeral could be going through one of the hardest days they might go through in their lives psychologically. The same goes for anyone you pass walking down a busy street. …

The shock of bad news on social media.

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Most mornings, even before my alarm goes off, I’m awakened by a familiar sound: Ding. And then another. Ding. Before my feet even hit the floor, I have picked up my phone from my nightstand and begun to read the morning news. Let’s face it: fewer people read the newspaper today than they did yesterday. In the technological world, we live in, most of the information we encounter comes from an online source.

In today’s world, we hear about the news with a “ding” or a feed that populated our screen as…

Lifestories find a place to be told.

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Throughout the early 2000s, the decline of print newspapers has been staggering. The first decade of the century brought with it the bankruptcy of numerous long-established newspapers in large metropolitan cities. These bankruptcies centered on the recent losses in revenue as a result of new competition with online sites like craigslist.com according to a study published in Management Science, which has cost the newspaper industry $5.4 billion between 2000–2007 exacerbated by the lack of buyers for the larger companies once revenue all but disappeared. …

New tech and communicating with the deceased

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With a goal to create individual personalities using artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft recently had a patent approved that could use your digital remains (Social Media, Texts, Emails, and other personal data) in combination with generated images and holograms to allow anyone to speak with the deceased. The tech company received permission and is moving forward with a program to create a chatbot capable of mimicking the personality of specific people after initially filing for the license in 2017.

It has been a reoccurring idea over the past decade, with many iterations of the deceased communicating to the masses.

As part…

When pain helps others.

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Condolences are often appreciated in act alone, but sometimes they have the potential to mean the world to someone at the moment when received at the right time and place. I came across a post about a friend who had recently been part of a podcast interview about his experience with loss and grief. While I had known bits and pieces from accounts over the years, a story was new to me. In his brief post on Instagram sharing with friends, he could sum up an individual experience with someone offering condolences that had significant meaning.

What to consider.

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College students historically fall within an average age bracket of eighteen to twenty-one years old. (1) Thus, in the year 2020, they were all born between 1999 and 2002, and in 2010 were around ten years old. Now take into account that the iPhone first hit the market in 2007 and that Facebook launched on February 4, 2004. (2)(3) Facebook started accepting non-college email addresses to register in September 2005. Everyone with an active email address in September 2006, with a minimum age to become a user set at thirteen years old. …

A look at tech and communicating with the deceased

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With a goal to create individual personalities using artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft recently had a patent approved that could use your digital remains (Social Media, Texts, Emails, and other personal data) in combination with generated images and holograms to allow anyone to speak with the deceased. The tech company received permission and is moving forward with a program to create a chatbot capable of mimicking the personality of specific people after initially filing for the license in 2017.

It has been a reoccurring idea over the past decade, with many iterations of the deceased communicating to the masses.

As part…

Today, you need to think about more than just your body.

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It can be difficult to visualize all the material that composes our digital remains, and it can be even more daunting to control its reach.

What happens to your online presence when you die?

How long will the information that you have put online throughout your life exist?

Who will see or have access to this information after you die?

When we begin to take a slightly deeper look at what will happen with our online information in the future, it becomes apparent that it needs to be addressed…

Who can get access?

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A phone that is locked by a password requires the passcode to gain access by the family. If you do not have the access code, the chances of accessing the deceased’s phone become substantially more complicated, in some cases requiring court actions to access.

Some phones grant access via fingerprint, but a detail usually overlooked is that this requires a thermal trace or warm finger in most smartphones. While there have been cases where a phone has been unlocked by using the deceased person’s fingerprints, this fails more often than not.

Once embalming occurs, the chances…

Author — Economist — Real Life Six Feet Under Character?

As a kid, going to the grocery store or leaving large community events like a play or church was the longest, most excruciating part of my life. It was at these times that people would stop a funeral director (my dad) and talk. These are not just everyday conversations about the weather; more often than not, they are immediate deep dives into personal grief. These are the moments that go unacknowledged, the moments of active listening, and being there for the people who had lost someone in the past, with…

J.H. Harrington

Author of ‘Digital Remains’ available now. Proven Industry Expert. Sharing thoughts and ideas on the world we live in from birth to death and beyond.

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