My data backup keeps failing.

I noticed the backup had stopped a couple of weeks ago but you know, I was busy. Last week my daughter had the same problem with her computer backup and she brought it to the attention of our household IT guy (read: my husband.) He was on it fast, feeling full the sting of the last time any of us lost our data for one reason or another…stolen device, water soaked device, corrupted device. Devices are remarkably fragile things. Data unable to be retrieved is a grief indescribable.

I got a little lecture from the household IT guy about backups and their importance. I waved him off ’cause you know, I’m busy. But it struck me last night late, when I was trying to sleep, that I have at least 2 books in progress on that hard drive. I have all of my poetry, all of my essays, documents for DoxaSoma including the Instructor Manual, letters from friends, photos, music…life is on that hard drive.

I cannot afford to lose my data. I need my data. I am my data.

But, maybe not really…

Some days, when I’m waxing paranoid science-fictional, I think about what kind of re-wiring humanity would need in order to be reduced to the futuristic societies we portray in novels and movies. What would it take to become “A Handmaid’s Tale” or “A Clockwork Orange?” I admit, when I read books by Orwell and Ayn Rand or see movies like The Matrix or Tron I have this moment of pause.

Have I now reduced my life to gigabites, pixels and Facebook statuses? Is that the first step toward these dystopian utopias?? I mean, it worries me that when I found out I could make a “book” of my lifetime of Tweets I actually considered it. There are moments when I’m offline that it nags at me a little. I wonder what’s happening, who’s on, what new meme has come up, what new internet sensation has been born? What am I missing? Am I even a person anymore? How long before we all get implanted with microprocessors and usb ports?

Yeah, ok.

And then, I take a deep breath, make myself a cup of coffee and feel the cold countertop under my fingertips. I listen to the sound of the boys arguing the finer points of comic book heros upstairs. I hear the rain hitting the window to my left and I remember myself again. The internet is a tool and sometimes a timecapsule and for the most part, it is good so long as I keep some focus. We are more than the sum of our data, the strength of our devices. We are far more than that.

But I’m backing it up anyway.


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