Recently I have been I feel like life is passing me by, so I downloaded a program that reminded me five times a day that I would die. I thought it would help me accept my death and focus on what is most important, but it just worries me. Is there something wrong with me? Is anxiety important? Do you think these programs can be useful?
Dear Pinged to Death,
I don’t think there is anything wrong with you. Or rather, you seem to be struggling with a problem that is common to all humankind, living beings with almost unlimited power to live in the same inevitable state. Even the clearest reminders of our death – whether the death of a loved one or the phone call – fail to instill fear and trembling in the abyss and instead fill our lives with vague, pervasive fear. “Death,” said WH Auden, “is the sound of thunderous picnics from afar.” That means, one of the words mentioned by WeCroak, the app I think you are using, which accompanies his death reminders and smart nuggets from Kierkegaard, Pablo Neruda, Margaret Atwood, and others.
We live in a time of slo-mo crisis, which occurs at tempo that makes it easy to ignore. Public safety declines year after year. Ice melts faster, yet at the speed of glaciers. The oceans are so hot that frogs mentioned here can boil the living. Death lurks behind all of them. In some cases, the seriousness of our problem is real due to a natural disaster or a UN weather report, but the bells go off with the news. The Doomsday Clock, which may have been a deliberate attempt to keep us from focusing on these threats, is now set at 100 seconds to midnight, which puts us at least one and a half minutes away from the current threat.
Death memorial programs are actually a Doomsday Clock for a person. Instead, some of them have real clocks so you can see, in real time, your remaining hours running out. The Death Clock, a page that has been in operation since 1998, predicts the date of your death, though its estimates are based on a number of factors – your age, BMI, or smoking. A few years ago, a horror movie Counting down I thought of a program that was able to explain, to the second, the time of the death of a person, and the relationship to use as a connection with the devil. (Most of the film: “Death? There Is That Program.”) The film promoted a real-life program built on the same principles — removing, apparently, spiritual enlightenment, but it disturbed enough people to be temporarily absorbed. App Store.
WeCroak is not very dangerous. His encouraging words about death should remind users to pause and review what they are doing, as a companion to many well-thought-out programs. Its founder came up with the idea while in trouble for Candy Crush intoxication, and many users have also reported that the app, which tends to disrupt those hours on Twitter or TikTok, has forced them to monitor the amount of their lives being spent on TV. The product, in other words, belongs to a growing professional team that is designed to solve the problems that technology has created. If digital platforms were still our reliable distraction from the reality of our death – so the mind goes – we may be able to use the same tools to get through the mental bullets and save us from further comfort and our imminent death.
WeCroak, as you already know, was inspired by Bhutanese people who claim that happiness can be achieved by contemplating death five times a day. Bhutan is often regarded as one of the happiest countries in the world, and WeCroak seems to be selling foreign products that are not uncommon in the traditional sense, portraying Eastern traditions as an antidepressant that will eventually free us from modern thought. The fact that it has only increased your anxiety, however, is not surprising to me. It is not easy to just want to experience the truth you have been taught not to ignore it. (If anything, the idea that we can transform the West’s death toll with a free program is a sign of our modern hubris more than its tonic.) not the fear of death, as evidenced by the international funeral rites and the 49th anniversary of the funeral. Bhutan’s largest religion, Buddhism, teaches that prudence is based, not on escape, but on acceptance of the harsh reality of existence, that is, the fact that life is not always easy.