Our “Virtual” Heritage

I’m not writing this post because I’ve hit “50”: I’ve been thinking about this for some time. 😉 As our ancestors died, they’d leave behind objects. We’d inherit photographs, letters, diaries, music (records and cassettes) and books:

Excerpt from
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

Increasingly, though, our generation has so much that’s “virtual” and doesn’t have a physical presence – email, social media accounts, etc.

Consider photos. Some people have truly incredible Instagram accounts. That probably includes some of you. I’m not easily jealous, but some I’ve seen…. Wow!

I don’t have an Instagram. I’m not a photographer, really. I’m a man of words. 🙂 But all of those photos out there: they have to end up somewhere someday with someone after you’re gone. They can’t just vanish.

Screen capture of Instagram home page.
Screen capture of Instagram home page.

By the way, label them properly. I’ve got hordes of old printed, black and white family photos (you may too) from ye olden days. Grandmas and great-aunts and others now long dead usually never bothered to scribble a name or date or location on the back. I can’t bring myself to throw them out, but I’ve often no clue who those people were (and more than once wanted to slam a table out of frustration)!

Now, we have other issues. “Here,” you tell your daughter, “these are your late grandfather’s old love texts to your grandmother. And look at all of these selfies she took….”

Uh, it’s not quite the same as a shoebox full of love letters. But nevermind.

And e-books. It’s easy to say, “I bequeath all my library to my nephew” when it’s physical books he can pile into his car. But when they aren’t?

Screen capture of cover page on Kindle for iPad.
Screen capture of cover page on Kindle for iPad.

I’m sure someone’s looked into this, true, but how it’s done is not immediately obvious. You can leave your username and password in your will, and he/she gets possession of them? Or I guess they can somehow be transferred?

Anyway, I’d better be able to leave them to someone. I paid for them!

Have a good Monday! 🙂