Trust in Technology
Technology is fickle. We rely on it. We trust it with our conversations and photos, activities and thoughts. It comes with us to the most intimate of places. Its the witness to the start of relationships and the ending of them. As a society, we place a large emphasis on technology and it's ability to work without hiccups. Then when it fails, and it inevitably will, we grow angry wondering how this could possibly happen to us. Today, I had such an experience. In a moment of frustration with my iphone - it had been acting up all morning and kept having issues sending text messages - so I turned it off. I waited a few seconds for it to turn back on, already annoyed that it was inconveniencing me, and when the home screen returned, I logged in and opened the message app straight away. Except now I was staring at a blank screen. All the messages I had were gone. And I flipped.
The words that came out of my mouth were not English, let alone words. These sounds were part of the international language of frustration and anger, which resulted in half-spoken words and me having to leave the room where I was previously trying to hold a conversation yet was distracted by my phone not cooperating. Feeling like turning off my phone had been the stupidest thing to do, I sat back at my computer and began scanning the internet for ideas on how to fix the problem. Except the internet didn't have the answer I needed as these exact situations were not the most common discussion on message boards. Which further annoyed me. Would no one be there to help me get back all 7.5GB of text messages. The messages still live on my phone but are no longer visible. In that moment I decided it was time to buy a new phone, one with much more space, and began wondering which one I should get with the money I don't have, all before deciding I didn't actually want to buy a new phone, I wanted this one to work. I just wanted back what had been lost. I just wanted that reassurance back that my world fit in my pocket and when I needed it, I could look back on old conversations and see that everything was as it was.
Now, I know in the grand scheme of things, this isn't very important. It's an inconvenience for sure as I was in the middle of scheduling things when it crashed. The messages are still somewhere on my phone as the space is still being used, but nothing is displayed. Nothing will come up. The past four years of messages have just disappeared. And what perhaps annoys me the most, and makes me the most angry and upset, is that whole histories of conversations are now lost. The messages from the start of my relationship are gone. Years of friendship and random conversations and insides jokes are gone. Funny stories and weird nights have disappeared along with the conversations I had when abroad. None of these moments have actually disappeared as I still lived it. I still remember those nights, most of them, but I no longer have the physical reminder at my finger tips. I no longer have the ability to scroll through daily reminders that the people I want to talk to are out there, less important are the messages asking what I'd like from Starbucks in the morning.
For the past week I've been thinking about life and the amount of time we all have, and how we never know how much time there will be. I recognize that in the grand scheme of things, the disappearance of my messages is very low on the level of importance, but what I did think was that if certain people were to disappear, I would want a reminder of them to be at my finger tips. I would want to be able to look at our conversations and remember them and all the things we said. I would want to call up what we talked about and were interested in six months ago. I have those moments saved elsewhere - some written, some remembered - but it hit me hard. In three months, I will have many similar conversations saved on my phone and I'll have the chance to make new memories and new interactions, but it all feels a bit like I've lost a piece of the past. Here's hopping that there's a way to recover the messages, but if not, let this be a reminder to back up my phone more frequently and to also record and cherish the time I have with all these people more. But also to back up my phone more often and then to back up those backups. Technology may be our friend and may have made our lives easier in so many ways, but it's also fickle and unpredictable - much like the weather - so bring resources.
In a new turn of events, the phone recovery program I attempted to use can't identify the old messages either. So off to come up with a new plan.