Digital Meltdown

Yawning HorseIt’s Friday.

It’s 2:46 and I need a nap that lasts until tomorrow morning when it’s a new day.

Saturday. The day I don’t have to deal with a damn computer.

Because there’s nothing worse than a complete computer crash, except for when your backup also crashes.

And you’re pregnant.

And decide to deal with the Geek Squad at the Best Buy three hours away.

Horse frustration

It’s been a perfect storm that’s been going on for months, a nightmare of hold music and head shakes and “let me ask in the back” and talking to ten different “geeks” who tell me ten different things and wondering if I’ll ever see the last five years of work and photographs ever again.

It’s been a misery saved only in part by my band mate being a technical genius who was able to get all my data off of my computer so I could just tell the geeks to give me a new hard drive already.

And when he gets back from his Vegas vacation, I’m going to see what he can do with external drives….

Everyone needs a techie in their lives. I just wish I was one.

But I’m not.


All I know is that my computers are like my right arm. I’m self employed. Time is money and I have no “system administrator” or “tech department” or “web manager” I can call when shit hits the fan.

I am all of those things. And shit hit the fan hard.

And I am not qualified to scrape it off…

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Anyway, this digital nightmare I’ve been living in kept me up the other night after my thirteenth pee break and sent me into a panic.

I haven’t put any of the photos I’ve taken in the last ten years in an actual photo album!

Aside from our wedding, that’s it, there’s hardly an actual photograph in this house since we said “I do” that a person could hold in their hands.

And I’ve been called a frickin’ photographer!

What happens when the world’s hard drive explodes and all of the memories I’ve stored on social media or on internal and external hard drives, on email servers and photo sharing servers on the world wide web all disintegrate in a poof of digital dust?

No more photos!  No more memories!

I’ve failed as a mother before I’ve even given birth!!

So at 3 or 4 in the morning I made a promise to go old school again. Once I get my digital life somewhat squared away, I am sending our memories off to be printed. I’m putting them in books so our kid and his kids and that kids kids can page through embarrassing photos of me with terrible hair and questionable wardrobe choices.

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It’s our God given right as family members to provide ammunition in the form of embarrassing photos that trigger memories and stories we can share in a pile of pictures and books on the coffee table.

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In this digital world we’re living in we’re unconsciously robbing ourselves, and it’s ironic really, given how easy it is these days to take and view a damn photo…

But maybe that’s the problem.

We’re taking these photos for granted because we can take millions, for free, at any given moment of our lives, and we do.

So have we decreased the value so much that our personal photos and memories have become disposable?

I hope not.

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Because preserving and documenting our history is important. So important it can’t be left in the hands of the Cloud for gawd sake! I don’t even know how the Cloud works, and every time I ask someone they don’t really know either, even the experts, the “geeks” can’t be clear enough for my comfort on this one, not that I have a lot of faith in them anymore anyway.

So that’s that people. For the last few months I have been suffering a digital meltdown, a disconnect with a device that has worked hard for me for five years, storing photos, videos, writing, stories, work, music, finances, lists, spreadsheets…my entire world on one little hard drive inside a machine that plugs into a power strip that plugs into a wall…and then one day I woke up to find it sick and on the verge of dying a long and agonizing death, one that it will never fully recover from.

It’s been hard on me, that hard drive.

But probably not as hard on all of my friends and family who have had to hear me bitching about it…

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So I’ll leave you with this: Back up your back up.

And then back that up…

And start printing those photos before you drop your phone in the toilet again or spill your coffee on your laptop.

Because shit happens and I wouldn’t want you to be left without being able to share those skydiving/Yellowstone/Fishing/Great Aunt’s 80th Birthday photos with your unborn child.

If you need me I’ll be ordering photo albums…and not the digital kind.

Peace, Love and Unplug,


8 thoughts on “Digital Meltdown

  1. Jessie, I hear ya darlin’. I think it’s true that a lot of folk are going to regret not having print copies of their best pictures. Glad you learned this lesson BEFORE the new babe arrived. Good luck with your travels in geekdom.

  2. Jessie,

    I hear your pain. About a week before Tyler passed away, I was working on my laptop, diligently copying pictures to my external hard drive where they could be preserved on a device not continually connected to the internet. Being the weak person I am, I had to get up to go to the bathroom or something. Being the clumsy idiot I am, I tripped over the cord connecting my laptop to the external hard drive. This, in turn, led to the entire external hard drive – with all of my pictures from 2005-2012, being completely wiped out. I was so frustrated with myself I was hitting myself in the head with a ruler (Tyler had to take it away). It was a bad situation. I, too, am the photographer in the family and I didn’t have many photos printed. Luckily, all of my pictures were also uploaded to Shutterfly or Snapfish, so I could print pictures, but I lost all the digital files in an instant.

    A week later, Tyler passed away. For someone who had THOUSANDS of pictures, I didn’t have a single digital file I could use for the funeral. I had to try to find pictures to scan (which aren’t as good of quality) and scramble to get pictures that could work for the funeral brochure, etc. It was a nightmare.

    Someone told me about CARBONITE ( It’s the best $100 I spend every year. You can buy the personal or business package (I get the personal package) and it will back everything up to the internet. So it backs up my computer’s hard drive PLUS the external drives I have connected to it. It’s amazing. PLUS, I can actually log on from anywhere and access the files. I’ve done this a lot when someone asks for a picture and it’s only on my computer at home and I’m at work. It’s so simple.

    Honestly, it’s the best advice anyone has ever given me. I still upload either to my website or Shutterfly, so at least it’s easy to share the pictures and print (if I want to – though I don’t because I’m the only one to view them). But having Carbonite is just the best. I love having the knowledge that if such an incident would happen again, I have something to bring it back. Check into it!


  3. LOVE your blog. I know what you mean about tech support. We have computer support for everything in this town except iMacs and iPads. Apparently I am either one of few owners of iMacs or it’s because they are more reliable and don’t need repairmen like the others. We had support here for a brief time but there wasn’t enough repair work for him so he moved 100 miles away. :0(

  4. I read somewhere that while this generation is the most photographed ever, they will end up with the least pictures. Not only due to technical issues as you had, but the fact that the media is always changing (i.e. we used to save the floppy disks but few computers have them anymore), and also that few of us ever print a hard copy anymore. Fay

  5. I have been having the same concerns recently. I take a lot of photos, especially since the grandkids were born 7 and 5 years ago. I am promising myself that I will print books (which is so easy on an Apple). I have made some for special occasions, but I think I should make 2 or 3 for each year. Choose the photos, make the book, and buy. How hard could it be? And, I need to stop taking SO MANY photos. It’s very stressful to ponder.

  6. Ive said, time and time again.. just give me a print I can hold in my hands… no mattter how technically perfect it is……… Grandmas just need the real thing… OK??

    luck on your journey
    to mommy-hood…………….

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