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Postcards from the Future

It sounds like the premise for a film–you receive an email from a loved one who passed away a week before. There are several sites now promoting this service, such as LastWishes.com and MyLastEmail.com. You can write an email that will be sent out to family, or to enemies, after your death. It sounds kind of creepy to me, like a horror film. It could also be potentially heartbreaking for the recipients, but to each their own.

A far less touchy subject is writing an email from yourself, to yourself, that will arrive years later. Two Websites offering this service are MailtotheFuture.com and FutureMe.org. You can send yourself any kind of note, but as this Associated Press story points out, many users approach the service in the same way–as a future reminder of their dreams and aspirations. It is largely a motivational exercise.

In college I took a creative writing class where the teacher had us all write ourselves a letter. She promised to mail it out one year later. I wrote about my hobbies and my pursuit of writing fiction; I talked about my relationship with my girlfriend (now my wife); and I mailed myself a $10 bill. When I got that letter a year later, I had completely forgotten the exercise. It was interesting to get a glimpse into your past and see what you had thought of the future. And the money didn’t hurt either.

How would you put such unusual email services to use?

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