The Most Bittersweet E-Mail I’ve Ever Written…and So Can You

bttfii2_0783If you have a Gmail account, prepare to write the most surreal, bittersweet e-mail ever.

Yesterday I learned that Google has set up something called an “Inactive Account Manager.” Basically, if your Google account (not just Gmail) isn’t used for a certain period of time, Google will declare the account to be “inactive.” Sometimes this will mean that you switched over to a new e-mail address. More often it will mean that you’re dead.

If you’ve set up your inactive account manager, one of two things will happen:

  1. Everything in your Google account will be permanently deleted.
  2. A trusted contact will be given access to your account.

Some of you may choose Option #1. You don’t want anyone looking through all the sexy selfies you took when you were young and spry, nor do you want people reading your e-mails. I get that.

I chose Option #2. Just in case. Especially since I’m responsible to customers now. I hope to live to a ripe old age, but if I get attacked by a mob of hungry koalas next week, I want to make sure that my Viticulture backers still get their games.

With Option #2, you’ll be prompted to enter a trusted friend or family member’s e-mail address. They won’t know you’ve chosen them as your Google beneficiary until your account becomes inactive, at which point they’ll get an e-mail. From you. From the past.

From today.

It was a tender moment for me to write my e-mail. It might seem a little morbid, writing an e-mail to someone that they will only read if you’re dead, but think of it more like Doc writing the letter to Marty that he receives at the end of Back to the Future II. It’s a chance to say hello and goodbye when you may have missed out on that opportunity in person.

Regardless, writing the e-mail is a surreal experience, one that you can only have by actually writing the e-mail. So if you’re an Option #2 type of person, go write that e-mail. Then come back here and let me know how it feels. I’m struggling to put it into words, so maybe you can do better than I.

4 Responses to “The Most Bittersweet E-Mail I’ve Ever Written…and So Can You”

  1. Ansley says:

    I can’t even begin to think of how I would write that email, especially right now. I’m about to enter a lifelong commitment of love, honor and respect with a wonderful man, who will be the recipient of that email if it ever has to be sent. So, maybe after all the hoopla dies down, I can put into words what needs to be said.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Ansley–You’re so close to your wedding! How exciting. I agree that you might want to wait on the e-mail until a little later. 🙂

  2. Bryce says:

    I can only assume that you chose me as your trusted friend but I must ask that you consider some one else. I fear that I will be too busy taking vengeance on every living koala to adequately handle your email affairs. They must be eradicated for what they have done to you and I will not rest until every koala has felt my wrath and tasted justice for this crime!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Bryce–I sincerely appreciate that your first response to my death will be revenge. I would ask for it to be an elaborate, convoluted revenge similar to the one in Oldboy.

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