Today, I had that moment of complete terror. My external hard drive hiccuped as I moved data to a new laptop. It seemed that there was nothing on it. I’d already wiped and sent off the old laptop, and the new one had a few bits and bobs, but not much.
For some time I thought I’d lost my data. I have other ways of saving it – Backblaze and the Cloud – but I hadn’t checked on my storage in a while. What if I had lost all of it?
It was a terrifying moment. What if I had to start anew, with nothing from before?
How did people think of themselves, their papers, their histories, their identities, their roles, their networks, their creativity, before (almost) unlimited storage, before access to paper – unlimited paper and writing implements?
How do people *be* when they can no longer write memories onto their minds?
For a moment, I was terrified. Who was I without all this?
Then I thought, what if I started fresh, without the detritus? Without all those old resumes, old course syllabi, old writings? A new person?
The story has a happy ending; the hard drive stopped hiccuping, and my data is all there. But I emerge a wiser woman.
PS: Part of my problem arose because I had to figure out what to do with the smaller storage on my new Mac. Do check before spending your money on a new Macbook.