Saturday, July 1, 2017

News You Can Use: "How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone"

From The Register:

This app could have grave consequences etc
Something for the Weekend, Sir? I will be annoying when I am dead. In fact, I plan to be much more of an irritant after passing away than I am at the moment as the once-dicky ticker continues to clock up the artery miles.

How will I inflict annoyance from the grave? Well, I have an app for that. Or at least I will have once it's available on Android: currently my post-expiry intentions of vexation are limited to iOS.
Bloody smartphone format wars. They'll be the death of me.

Swonsong – the app in question – promises to hold on to personal messages that I choose to prepare in a variety of digital media, then distribute them on cue after I snuff it. I can write letters in a cheesy script font to loved ones, record audio messages (complete with slideshow and mawkish background music) and even prepare a video eulogy in HD for streaming to a smart TV in whichever pub they're holding the wake.

This is how you're supposed to use the app. This is not, of course, how I intend using it.
Surely the most compelling thing about this service is its time-delayed delivery option. It means I can fire off all manner of confusing nonsense, irritants and abuse to whoever I like without any fear of comeback – what with me being dead – according to a custom schedule, quite literally from beyond the grave.

In other words, I will be able to haunt people. Using an app.

Over the years, friends and colleagues have mused on how they might deliberately become more grouchy and troublesome as they get older, purely out of mischief. Don't worry guys, there's nothing deliberate about it: involuntary dementia will come to us all if we're reckless enough to stay alive too long.

This plan therefore fails on two counts. One: if you insist on growing old, most people around you will have the decency to pop their clogs before you get a chance to piss them off in return. You will quickly run out of people to be grouchy at or troublesome to. Two: you will be so bonkers yourself that you won't remember where your feet are, let alone a list of enemies with whom you planned to get even one day.

Since a long life is neither desirable nor likely for my post-boomer generation, SwonSong could be my chance to stick the boot in while there's still time, effortlessly from the safety of my own urn.
Just think of the virtual laughs to be had from scheduling a text message to your colleagues six months after the cremation to say that unforeseen events have held you up for that morning's so-important standup meeting but you wanted to assure them that you expect to see the project manager "very soon"....MORE