Rise of the Death Clocks

Friday, October 18, 2013 - 01:33 PM

Here’s a trend you maybe wouldn't have expected to take off: apps that tell you how soon you you and your loved ones will likely die.

As far as I can tell, it started earlier this year with the website See Your Folks. If your parents are still alive, See Your Folks predicts how many more times you’re likely to see them. It makes its predictions using World Health Organization data combined with the number of times you see them per year. 

But that's just your loved ones. If it's your own death you're worried about, you probably want a Tikker. It's a new watch currently being Kickstarted. Tikker tells you how many years, days, hours and minutes you likely have left in your life. Tikker’s makers have raised three times their fundraising goal already.

I have a soft spot in my heart for this kind of thing. I'm a sucker for an old-fashioned appeal to morbidity. I also like the promise that they try to make - that we should keep thinking about death as a way to live our lives better. Of course, the concept of these death clocks’ existence is probably nearly as effective as owning one. If you put anything in front of your face for long enough, you’ll learn to ignore it. Even the tick-tock of your own march toward the grave.


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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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