Erased

 

I have a love/hate relationship with technology.

 

Erased - sig

 

And here’s one of the reasons why. (Just one of them, mind you.)

My email isn’t working. Poor me, right? And when I say “not working”, what I mean is that one minute my emails were there and, the next, they were gone. Every. Single. One.

Wiped clean.

Every email I have ever sent, received, saved, or flagged…erased. Every folder…empty.

Although I’ve gotten better about deleting unnecessary emails, there were well over 3,000 of them. Years’ worth.

Gone.

I use my email as a file folder. That thing was chock full of writing, receipts, ideas, blog posts, gift lists, links, photos, videos, personal correspondences, business emails, contacts, submissions, rejections, invoices…

Yes, I know. You shouldn’t keep that kind of info in your email. (Also, I rely solely on email notifications for blogs so, if I haven’t been to visit you, this is why.)

I’m embarrassed to admit it but I went through a sort of grieving process. Shock, denial, anger, upset, acceptance.

Or as close to “acceptance” as I could get: I unplugged.

Not out of need for a break but out of sheer, unadulterated anger. Which, I suppose, means I didn’t actually “accept” anything. Whatever. I piled every last device (including my phone) on the floor and threw a sheet over it. I couldn’t even look at the stuff.

There was some fear below the surface of that anger.

I’m still wary of touching any technology. I approach my laptop like it’s a time bomb.

Tick, tick, tick…

It’s unnerving. I’m paranoid about every “update” that pops up on any device. This whole thing really took me down. Set me back. Put me on edge. Brought me up short. (What other cliché can I fit in here?) I want to get into my regular online routine but I’m so damn nervous.

I’m afraid of what else could go missing. I have notes of all sorts just sitting on my phone and laptop. And now I’m waiting for something to go wrong. Waiting for technology to fail me again.

I looked around for my notepads, planners, and calendars and found they were incomplete at best. I had some appointments, meetings, dates, and deadlines written down but, really, not many. The pages were pretty bare. And I honestly couldn’t remember when I stopped writing in them regularly.

This has me seriously thinking about how much I store on electronic devices. And how much I need to distance myself from them.

 

Have you ever lost important documents, emails, or contact info? What did you do? (Dare I ask…how did you react?)

 

Erased2 - sig

 

Just an F.Y.I. to all of my lovely bloggy friends: I’m working on this. Will I get my “Happily Ever After”? I’ve never been a huge fan of those but, in this case, I’m hoping for it. Or at least a “Good Enough Ever After”.

 

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56 thoughts on “Erased

  1. Oh wow, that sounds weird, to lose all of your emails. Yikes. It’s made me think because I keep loads of my info stored on email as well. Kind of like a “filing cabinet of life stuff”. Technology is good but sometimes can be overwhelming.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My email deleted most of my contacts and four months worth of important emails at one fell swoop last year. I was not pleased. Like you, I store stuff in the folders there… and many of those went too. My PC has also refused to let me into Facebook for some unfathomable reason (though sometimes I feel that as a blessing in disguise…). I just grit my teeth and write some more…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ugh! I feel your pain. It seems such a good place to store things that come in… Obviously, we’ve learned that’s not true. (I secretly think that the Facebook issue is a blessing. I’m not even on there.) Keep writing!

      Like

      • It does… and you just asssume that even if the PC breaks, the emails are still out there in the ether… until they are not. 😦
        I’m half inclined to agree regarding FB, though I put such a lot of work into the mythical author platform that I am a tad peeved, just in principle…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. I just knew they were there. Until they weren’t. Just assumed they must be floating around out there.
        Aw, see, talk about being erased. Putting all that work into something then deleting it purposefully would be difficult, too. (Hee…”mythical author platform”…) You should be peeved. In principle. 😉

        Like

  3. I’m glad you found your way back here, Dear friend. You were missed! I never trust technology either. And I have no patience with it. When something electronic isn’t working it’s very hard for me to not have the reaction of wanting to see how far it can fly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! “it’s very hard for me to not have the reaction of wanting to see how far it can fly.” Yes. Maybe that’s why I covered them because, if I saw them, they might be in a heap on my lawn. It’s always been tough for me to trust technology. Thanks for the welcome back. I’m trying to catch up but it’s proving difficult and I think I’m going to have to just move forward from here. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If I’ve learned anything from working in advertising is to save constantly and to use backups. A lot of what I work on is kept on a flash drive, and then I back that up every 3 months on another flash drive, and I also keep it on my desktop. In my life, I’ve had a jumpdrive get fried from a power surge, two computers die on me, files get corrupted, and a lot of work lost because of a power outage. Reactions have had a wide range, but I’ve been lucky to recover most of what I had on those devices. A good friend somehow retrieved the info from the burnt flash drive, he also saved the info of the comp (should get him a good bottle of whiskey as a retroactive thanks lol). I’ve punched walls, screamed, cried, been on the verge of a panic attack, and taken it zen style. It depends on the occasion and what I’m working on. One of those times was when I was about to publish Only Human… doesn’t take much to guess that’s when I almost had a breakdown. In the end, I’ve taken ALL of those experiences and stock piled them into learnings. In the end, I was accountable and have grown to distrust technology for however much I love how it connects me to the world. I write by hand and transcribe 80% of what I publish and that is not a guarantee either. (I lost the first 2 chapters of Only Human when I left that notebook in an airplane). In the end, we can do our best and try and take everything that we mess up and use it to learn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pfft! Three months? I’m so paranoid now, I’ll probably be saving every three hours. I do use flash drives a lot. There are here. In my hands. I know they are HERE. Unlike out there in some imaginary “storage” area that I can’t see. (And one that can, obviously, be erased.) So you’ve gone every route possible losing stuff. Geez! I’m glad you got some of it back but I’m surprised you trust technology at all at this point. I suppose a good bottle of wine (or beer) would be good in this situation. 😉 I’m glad I’m not the only one to freak out. I think my “zen” is more of a “I’m-in-shock”.

      You know, I was waiting for someone to mention the lost notebook thing. That you can just as easily lose a notebook as a jump drive or something but…I don’t know. I just can’t seem to not trust paper anymore. 🙂

      Like

  5. I’m so sorry, that must have been horrendous 😦 I haven’t lost anything so catastrophically but losing some stuff I would rather not have lost made me back up everything – on two external hard drives. I also use two different note apps to save stuff. I’ve had problems with email accounts in the past and tend not to save important things in those accounts, and move anything I want to save over to notes. I wonder if there’s any point in contacting your email provider to see if they can help?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, from past experience of losing stuff from my actual laptop (or desktop back in the day), I back everything up on a flash drive and external hard drive. But, obviously, didn’t do that with my email. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t. It felt different. Contacted them. Working on it… I’m completely paranoid now though so, regardless, I think I’ll transfer info to notes. (But, then…what happens if the notes get erased??? Eek! See what’s happened to me?) 😉

      Like

  6. I know it doesn’t help with the current loss, but for the future, I recently started using Feedly for all the blogs I follow because I needed to reduce the volume of emails I was getting. I love it! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That sucks, Dude. Was it your gmail account that went kaput?

    I’m almost all digital myself, just for the sole sake of portability. I’ve got 9 different gmail accounts and 6 cloud storage services. Some might call me excessive. But I’m not tied to one particular device, so I suppose that’s good. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah. My main account. And it does suck. You have NINE accounts?! My first reaction is that IS excessive but, like you said, you’re not tied to one device and that was my biggest problem here. It swept everything from every device because they were all linked. (And I don’t even know what a cloud storage service is.) O_o

      Like

      • Heheh, I like my Google accounts. If I think up a name I want, I’ll usually register it–like caffeinatedcritter and cerachronicles. Each one comes with 15GB of cloud storage, and that’s what I use them for more than email. I’ll back up and archive stuff that I don’t necessarily want cluttering my main accounts, but still want to keep.

        You’ve probably used cloud storage. It’s stuff like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. You can set it up so that files are synchronized to a server online and then downloaded/updated on your local device. I mostly use it for my writing, music, and book cover stuff. Stuff that doesn’t need constant updates (family pictures, old drafts, audiobooks), I’ll stick in one of my other accounts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I still kind of have no idea what you’re saying. (Are we still talking email or blogs or domain names or… You know, it’s people like me who must drive you completely batty. You are so tech savvy. Good thing, too, because, you know, work and all.)

        I have never used these things you speak of. O_o But I judged a flash contest once and had to access the entries through DropBox. It was not pretty. I really like the sound of what you’re doing here, though. If info is stored on a device and in tech storage, I’d be good. If one failed, I’d have the other.

        Like

  8. Yikes, you poor thing. Many moons ago, just after I started writing I dropped my laptop on a hard kitchen floor on holiday. The screen blinked, sort of looked at me like Ali McGraw in Love Story and died. I had no back up, nothing, nada, niet. I have never felt so sick in the following few moments. A month later someone retrieved most of my stuff my hard drive but by then I had re written the book. Since then I back up everything (that is my writing) into drop box, on two USBs and I mail myself as well. My mail has to look after itself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You had no back up? At all? Of anything? Ouch! I can imagine how sick you felt. I’m so glad someone was able to retrieve it for you but now I’m curious… When you rewrote your book, did you like it better? Not as much? Did you use any of the recovered book?

      That’s exactly what I’m going to do now. I’m triple saving everything. It won’t help the email but if I empty my email more often and put it on a flash drive, I’ll be much better off. I hope.

      (I actually had to look up Ali McGraw / Love Story. Now I want to watch it just to see how your screen looked at you.) 🙂

      Like

  9. Oh Sarah. That’s not a technical problem. That’s a disaster. I would be distraught! I too have much stored in my email folders. I’d hate to lose it all. I’d be totally lost. And I now rely on the calendar in my phone rather than my brain for appointments and reminders (someone wrote a post about lazy thinking recently!). It would be difficult, and probably traumatic, to lose all those details. I wish I could offer some advice/support but I wouldn’t know what to suggest, other than – as Cathy suggested – you contact the email provider, or someone who can retrieve it from your computer’s hard drive. Aren’t we told that our footprints are un-erasable? This is just the time when you need it to be so.
    Recently I have started saving my documents and files into Dropbox, but not my emails as I don’t know how to do that, or whether it can be done. I’m still not confident that all my devices talk to each other and keep each other up to date. I wonder what will happen when the cloud gets heavy and there’s a cloudburst. Perhaps those who make multiple backups are the sensible ones. It takes time, but I guess it’s worth it. I don’t know how to do it with email though.
    Take care my lovely. I hope you get it sorted – soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Not a technical problem, a disaster. I know, it’s so ridiculous but, really, it’s affected me. I’m shaken. That’s the thing…all that stuff stored in email folders. I’ve been good about saving writing but email? No.
      Right. The lazy thinking. Exactly. I rely on this stuff too much. It took this disaster to notice just how much. You know what? We ARE always told to be cautious and careful what we write because it can haunt us and it can NEVER BE ERASED and will come back to bite us in the arse. Then, when you need it, it’s nowhere to be found? You’re the third person to mention DropBox and I’ll have to look into that. (Of course now I worry that stuff will be erased off that!) I don’t know how to back up emails on that, either. Ha! A cloudburst. Yes. That’s it, isn’t it? Is anything safe??? Thank you, Norah. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? Any mistakes you make will be indelible. Anything you want to keep will be written in invisible ink and the secret solution lost. I really should look into a solution for saving my emails. You’ve reminded me again. I wonder how many reminders I’ll require to take action.
        Bec assures me Dropbox will be safe but I just don’t get this online, cloud storage, or even computer storage, for that matter. I accept it and use it, but I don’t get it. I hope you are able to retrieve allthings (as opposed to something). Take care. xx

        Like

  10. I know that sick feeling in the stomach when you lose stuff. I lost a days work and through no fault of my own as I was saving every couple of minutes and backing up to hard drives and drop box but none of it saved. A problem with word for mac. Eventually it froze and I had no choice but to turn off but at that stage I wasn’t concerned as I had been saving it all. I was sick when I found it hadn’t saved and the tears flowed. The stuff I had written was the most brilliant writing I had done. Although I did it again (had no choice) it wasn’t with the original brilliance. Hope you work out a system that works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh… Irene. That is awful. Also, you’ve just made me paranoid again! How did ALL of those back ups fail you? I’m so sorry. Of course it was the best stuff ever. Because that’s when you’d lose it. I’m glad you rewrote, though, because I love your writing and I’m sure (even if you don’t think so) it’s wonderful. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are too kind. What I do now (sorry trees) is before turning off the computer I print the document I have been working on or at least the pages I have been working on. That way, it would be a pain, but I could copy them if I found the computer did not save as requested.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Omg, that’s just awful! I can’t imagine how stressed you must be 😦 I hope they magically reappear for you.
    Something like this does make one think, doesn’t it, about how much work we store electronically. I do handwrite a lot of notes, plus back up all my writing onto another drive, but I don’t know what I’d do if all my emails disappeared. I didn’t even know they could do that.
    Sending lots of sorry and wishes for their safe return xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could use some magic. Right? I didn’t really know they could do that, either. Across all devices??? I thought I was being good saving my photos and writing on external hard drives. It really is stressful though, like I said, kind of embarrassing. In the grand scheme of things… Anyway, yes, we (and by “we” I mean “I”) store WAY too much stuff electronically. Thanks. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I feel for you. I hate technology, get a lump in my throat the moment I encounter a hiccup, and live in fear of my manuscript disappearing somewhere, even though I back up on a stick and have it sent to two email accounts as well as being on the hard drive because I still do not trust.I had an email account that one day just wouldn’t give me access to it anymore, despite using the correct password! Just locked me out! Also, I nearly lost stuff half way through writing the novel a couple of times and quite frankly, it was too traumatic. I am peeing myself about upgrading to windows 10 before 29 July. Though I’ve been told my stuff should be ok, I know it will do ‘something’ to my computer that will have my head spinning. Truly, all writers will sympathise with you. I fairly new to your site and enjoy your blogs so please, don’t lose heart – I suppose it is a case of getting back on that horse and revising your storing strategies. All the best to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ack! I’ve had email accounts that I couldn’t access anymore. It was awful. Thankfully, those ones were sort of throw-away accounts with nothing crucial on them. I know. It’s pathetic but, really, it is kind of traumatic. *sigh* I don’t like updating, upgrading, changing computers, switching phones… None of it. Never have. Now I’m completely paranoid about it. Thank you so much. ❤ I will not lose heart. I'm going to forge ahead and carry on. Best to you!

      Like

  13. Oh boy. That is a grim, terrifying situation. (Note to myself: back up my emails!) I’ve not had this happen…yet. The thought of it leaves me cold. I rely on my smartphone for notes and appointments, and I need to back it up ASAP.

    Ah, technology. It’s great until it isn’t, right?

    I know this is going to sound trite and doesn’t improve your situation at all, but you’ve prompted us readers to re-evaluate our information storage and (hopefully) take action. For that, thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! “Grim.” Sorry, that’s fabulous. Yes, please back them up (though, clearly, don’t ask me how to do it). See, that’s the thing. I realized after this that I rely on my smartphone SO much it’s ludicrous. I’d be lost if I, um, lost it. How would you back your phone up? See, I used to EMAIL myself copies of photos, links, notes, etc. from my phone. You see how I got myself into such a state.

      Hey, if this prompts even one person to re-evaluate and/or back stuff up, then this was…so totally not worth it!!! Seriously, it’s part of the reason I wrote the post so that’s a good thing. 🙂 Technology is great until it isn’t. Cheers, lovely lady.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I dropped a old-style external hard drive while it was turned on….lost two years worth of photos of my kids/family. All my son’s baby pictures. *BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVES PEOPLE* The worst part is, up until that time we’d been SUPER good about putting photos on CDs (before thumbdrives and memory cards became a big thing). le sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! No! Photos. I had some photos on my email but I had downloaded a lot. I’m so sorry. I hope someone has photos for you. See? I think I’m being good by saving to an external hard drive but… That’s awful. We used to use CDs a lot but I tend to grab flash drives now (and occasionally back everything up on an external hard drive). I should just take a day a week and save EVERYTHING in three places.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: The Dinosaur Ate My Smartphone | Lemon Shark

  16. I’ve never lost anything like that, but I did lose a piece of technology itself in the post a few years ago, and I was devastated. It had been a birthday present and I had sent it to get repaired. I am now paranoid about sending anything though the post. And yes, I went through a sort of grieving process as well.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It was tracked. That’s how I realised it had gone missing. It just got stuck at one particular stage. I hope I get it back one day. I’ve heard of things turning up years later. So you never know!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Updates! Even before this happened, I was always wary of updates. It seemed that, each time I updated, it closed something that wasn’t saved and/or had another update two days later to “fix” something in the update that I just did. Grr.
      I did a lot of writing with pen and paper during the last few weeks. It was nice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh Sarah…why has it taken me so long to read this post? I’ve been lost from the blogging world…what on earth happened? Did you ever get to the bottom of your email disaster? I’m so, so sorry you had to deal with this. What a nightmare, I really do feel your pain with all my computer disasters and knowing how that felt. I’m turning ice cold as I read your post as I have just the same in myriad folders and I too get all my blog notifications by email (although I’ve had to turn them all off for a while as I was utterly overwhelmed and still trying to work out better system…but not getting very far with that…). I’ve just had notice that there is going to be some major change with my emails (not gmail, but my others which I use for blogging and for all those folders) and I have no idea how I’ll be able to access them after the end of June. The mainly good thing about the workshop was hand writing edits and notes during the train journey. It made me realise how much better it is to work switched off like that. And it is scary with the way our stuff can just disappear like that. I’m so sorry…I will read on and see if there is any update…but know I’m sending you hugs of commiseration… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. It was kind of horrible. But I have actual horrible stuff going on so I’ll just say it was…bad. It’s amazing how much stuff we keep in our email. It’s so convenient. And, really, I didn’t think to download some of these things. I hope you figure out how to access everything after this month.
      Nice. Hand-written notes/editing on while traveling/waiting is always good. No one can delete that. 😉 Thanks for the hugs. Much-needed and appreciated. ❤

      Like

  18. I had a blog set up for my Sci-Fi WIP, Challenge Of The Velah, on WordPress, and kept seeing notices on the top of my dashboard announcing I needed to install various apps to block “brute force logins.” Then, I started getting emails that my account there had been getting locked due to failed attempts (that I never made), so started trying to do the app installs. Then, the blog disappeared. Like your emails, gone. I have no idea what happened, but finally accepted (with frustration) I had to make another one. That happened back in September, and I didn’t make the new one until February. (Who the hell thought up that spelling?)
    Last month, my good laptop, the only one that had the guts to not freeze every other click, died. Any and all files I had not put on Dropbox went with it. I took it to the Computer Doctor, and he found my hard drive gave out. It’s not the first time one has gone belly-up, but this time, I had stuff I really wanted to keep or look at later, and now they’re gone. 😦
    I feel for (or with) you. I also agree that the AI revolution has begun. Technology will be our undoing, for we have become way too dependent on it.
    I hope your situation ends better! May your emails and files be recovered so you can flip the computer off. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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