Eternal Forever: Really?
Eternal Forever claims to be the first UK digital legacy management
agency. Their offering: online immortality.
By SYL WATERS
Given how much of our time we spend online, it’s a pretty hot prospect as a business idea. Eternal Forever means you can remain online, even after you’re dead.
But how does it work?
Mack Majors, the account director at Eternal Forever, explains: ‘We
provide a full-service account curation and clean-up of your digital
profile after you’ve departed. Upon your passing, we manage the digital footprint you’ve left behind to create a cohesive posthumous identity to remain alive online forever. We use AI algorithms that behave as if
you’re still here. We can even create pictures of your favourite places
with you in them eating your favourite food – with your favourite
‘People often forget how many online accounts they have. We’re not just talking the socials and email, but also loyalty cards signed up and
never used, picture sharing sites, blogs, the list goes on. What we do
is curate and cleanse your digital profile to ensure the safety and
security of your data. You have to be careful because there are hackers
who could use the information in nefarious ways. Our role is to preserve and protect your online identity.’
‘We strongly believe death isn’t the end, but an in-between stage before the next status update from your digital legacy manager. At Eternal Forever we offer the gift of immortality: You don’t have to be alive to be online.’
Eternal Forever have a three-tier service system offering basic account
closure, clean up and close, to full curation. The services cater for
the needs of the customer and their digital demands.
Since launch, Eternal Forever have been gaining subscribers at a rate
many start-ups would envy, plus they have investors clamouring all over them desperate to be in on the next big thing.
But what’s the catch?
Eternal Forever is not real.
Eternal Forever is the eponymous name of Syl Water’s novel on which
Eternal Forever is based. It’s an idea she had years ago when she saw
how dead stars such as Elvis Presley had Twitter and Facebook accounts.
‘It got my brain churning,’ she says, ‘I thought to myself how
fascinating to still be alive online even though you’re dead.’
And so started the journey into writing her first novel. A book, she
admits, went through various iterations and took four years to complete.
‘In the beginning I tried to shoehorn too many stories and characters
in, I didn’t give them room to breathe and the story got lost. After
too-many-rewrites-I-lost-count I ended up with the final book.’
And you’d be forgiven for thinking Eternal Forever is likely a work of
sci-fi, but Waters’ love of cozy murder mystery, saw her turn, what many would think a future dystopia, into an easily accessible whodunit.
‘I didn’t want to make Eternal Forever hard for people to get their head around. I know the fundamental idea can be a bit freaky and I wanted to make it as everyday as possible. I know some people think I missed a trick by not going down the ‘Black Mirror’ path, but that wasn’t what I wanted and not how my brain works. This was an idea which I wanted to appeal to people in their everyday lives, because the net is so part of our lives. It’s a tricky balance, but I wanted to make the thought of being alive online when you’re dead, as normal as having breakfast in the morning.’
Asked if she believes there could be a digital afterlife management
agency like her fictional Eternal Forever company, Waters says, ‘I often said to myself rather than writing about this tech service, I should build it. Maybe I could turn it into the unicorn the staff and investors believe it could be!’
Will that ever happen?
Watch this space.
Eternal Forever by Syl Waters is published on 25 September by Eleftheria.