The Final Countdown: Technology’s Many Methods of Reminding You That Your Days Are Numbered
We’re all going to die.
Sorry to be a bummer, but perhaps you’ll find the reminder useful. That, at least, seems to be the guiding idea behind a surprising number of digital variations on the memento mori — symbolic nudges to “remember that you will die,” as that Latin phrase is typically translated.
It’s an idea that goes back hundreds of years. But the form of these modern memento mori says something about the way we think about technology’s role in our lives (and deaths).
A Chrome extension called Mori offers a simple and stark example. Type in your birthdate, and you’re confronted, every time you open a new tab or window, with a grid-style infographic. Its blocks represent all the weeks in 80 years of life.
The ones you’ve lived are shaded blue. The rest represent “how much time you have left.” So, in my case, a glance drove home that my life is more than half over. I knew that, but the graphic reminder nearly gave me a heart attack.
OK, not really. But it did make me wonder about the existence of this grim mortality tool — and the many others like it.
At Deathtimer.com, for instance, you can enter some basic personal data and receive the site’s prediction of the day you’ll die (based on life expectancy stats).
From Day of Your Death.
From Memento Mori