This is the post that spawned the post you are reading now. In the light of Will Your Work day, I meant to write it much sooner, but time being what it is — slippery, ephemeral, and hard to catch — well, I’m getting it done today.

I suffer from an illness that has periodic flare-ups, during which time I’m not able to participate in much of anything. I can’t go out, I can’t meet with people, and I can’t get into Second Life. I’m one of those people who regularly disappears from life, leaving little or no trace, and no forwarding address.

I’ve seen it happen to other people, too. They get sick, have upheavals in their lives, get busy, whatever — suddenly, they withdraw from their lives, leaving their friends wondering what happened.

My advice?

DON’T.

Always have a plan. Plan to tell people you won’t be around for a while; you don’t need to explain yourself. If required, plan to relay the message through someone else; I need to do this, because I’m not in a position to do it myself by the time I get sick. Don’t disappear.

Go further. Once you’ve started making plans, you might as well go the extra distance. Make out a will which includes your digital property. Make sure that if you die, that everyone who should be notified is notified, including folks who you communicate with online.

Why?

Your online life is part of your life. Your online friends will try to find out what happened to you if you just vanish; they will worry, and fret, and suffer, just like any other friend.

You carry the same obligation to all your friends — online friends are not lesser friends.



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