Friday, August 28, 2009

What if the Free Things Go Away?

We take an awful lot for granted. There are so many free services that we use every day that would seriously drop a little wrench in our lives if they suddenly went away. I’m not talking about big things, like things our lives or livelihoods rely on, but the things that allow us to stay in touch and feel connected. It was just a thought I had the other day when I caught a snippet on the radio that intimated that Yahoo wasn’t doing so well. I’ve had my Yahoo e-mail account for at least a decade, I think. I keep all of my personal incoming and outgoing messages to use as a record of my life in Yahoo’s online storage. I figure one day I’ll write a book and need all of that stuff to remind me of events or conversations since my brain seems to retain so little anymore. What if Yahoo suddenly went bust and closed all of its accounts? Would there be any time to back it all up? Is it even possible to back it all up? What about Facebook? How would I stay in touch with my friends, when a large portion of my messages back and forth with them are stored in my FB message box? I don’t even have e-mail addresses for many of them, so having their messages backed up alone would be irrelevant. And Blogger—my online diary. I kept written diaries for the first two decades of my life. I actually enjoy reading them from time to time, as they’re good for a laugh or even a painful reminder of teen angst. Although I don’t get too personal on my blog, it’s still a beautiful record of my beautiful daughter and her beautiful life as she grows up. I don’t keep any hard copy of my posts since I just compose them directly in Blogger. I’m cautious enough to back up my photographs with a double process, though—I load them onto my computer whenever I feel like it, then don’t delete them from my camera card until I’ve backed up what was on my computer onto cd. Just in case. Perhaps I should take such precautions with these other services, but is this little bit of paranoia enough to inspire me to take even more time out of my busy day to figure out how and to back up several years of data? Maybe it should, but I’m hopeful that if these entities were in imminent danger we’d either have time to prepare, or have the opportunity to pay for the services. Seriously, I would totally pay for these (not much, mind you, but if everyone had to pay maybe they’d be able to stick around). I know I have asked it before, but really, do any of you remember what we did before the internet? I guess we just didn’t know what we were missing and used landline phones and passed notes in the hall at school to stay in touch with each other. And wrote letters! Remember stationary? I still have a large box of old blank note cards going back to my childhood. Yes, ignorance is bliss—we never worried about telephones going away, or pencils or pens or paper! I’d love to know what you packrats do to protect your online lives!


Adrienne said...

I know that will make a book out of your blog! I'm thinking of doing that. I think you can make several-kind of like editions. You should look into that atleast for your blog and then one day you can read it to Samantha!

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Yikes, reading this I got a little scared. I too have used my yahoo account like a storage locker. I have kept all my emails from my grandmother and cousin who are now deceased and all my emails with my son who is in college as a diary of sorts. I would be crushed if I lost those. I think maybe a better print them out just in case. We really are spoiled with these tools.

Lacey said...

Thats a good point. I love having my blog, its like a diary. I want to print it all out one day as a scrapbook, I would die if one day it just disappeared.

Dawn said...

I didn't get my first computer until 2001, so I'm a late bloomer. Now I work for a computer repair place so I know a lot about them...more than I want to really.

Since I've started writing an online journal ( I keep 2, one private and then the new one i started for Taylor) I've always written the post in Microsoft Word first.

Microsoft Office 2007 lets you publish straight to Blogger with the click of 1 button. You can also just copy & paste if you have the 2003 version. So everything I've written is stored on my hard drive. Of course, you have to turn around and back that up in case your computer goes bad.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to be a computer tutorial. Just thought I would share some info.

I love reading the comments you've left on my blog. I'm glad you thought the "Seizure Salad" was funny. I had really hoped people would take it that way and that I wouldn't offend anyone.

Dawn said...

Oops...sorry about that Becca. I meant to go to Beth's page, but I saw your post and got carried away.

Maybe I should get stronger glasses.

Jeanette said...

If it wasn't for online technology then I never would have learned about you and your family. I would have missed seeing pictures of your sweet Samantha. And of course, I NEVER would have met you in person and saw her with my own eyes. I also never would have gotten a personal tour of DC. I am thankful for the internet and am going to back everything up immediately!!!