What do you want your legacy to be? Decisions for the future

This post is part of a blog series on Brazen being sponsored by Entrustet.  They asked Brazen members to answer the question:  What do you want your legacy to be?  Here’s my response …

I am only 23 years old, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my (hopefully very distant) future. Some background: My dad has multiple sclerosis, an auto-immune disease. Because I am his direct relative and a woman, my chances of getting MS are close to 20 times greater than the average person. The real reason this is important now: Life insurance. Once someone is diagnosed with MS, cancer, or any other life-threatening illness it is near impossible to ever qualify for life insurance. This isn’t something most people in their early 20s think about. I’ve been through ups and downs that have caused me to grow up much faster than I would like, but I’d rather be informed than ignorant.

Most people will eventually think about their life issuance or writing a will. How many will think about what happens to their data online? I started to set my dad up on Google Health so I can help keep track of his medical history and current symptoms. Butt what happens to the rest of his online presence if he is incapacitated? How will I get the information I need? Having these important life decisions on my radar is making me think about the future of my digital life and the online presence of my family members. After looking at Entruset I realized I need to get this set up. Not only for me, but for my family members as well so we are all on the same page. We’re moving away from a world filled the papers, and that also means less of a paper trail. If we don’t know where the info is online or can’t get to it, what good does it do?

Access to private information is only one aspect. What will happen to my public online presence? Ever since I first came online, over 15 years ago, I have used the Internet to share my ideas and interests. I’m still mourning the first few webpages I made as a kid – only the memories of “Jenna’s Sports Site” and “Girls in Sports” now remain. The beauty of the social and semantic web is that what we share online is more meaningful and connected than ever before. My blog consists of some posts related to social media and technology, along with detailed memoirs of my semester in Australia. The latter isn’t very interesting to most readers, but it shows who I am and what I’ve done. I want my children, my children’s children, and anyone else interested to know about my life. Imagine what our kids will find – searching through blog posts with detailed contextual information.

Let’s look back at the question Entruset first asked: What do you want your legacy to be? After writing this I realized I wrote a similar personal blog post almost 2 years ago – and never posted it. I think it’s about time for it to come live, to explain the original reason I started blogging. Re-reading it now is reminiscent and makes me excited to read my posts 10 years from now.

So what’s your answer? What do you want your legacy to be?