Atlantic Article: Whoops, I Deleted My Life

This article really resonated with me and I thought it might resonate with some folks here, too. I imagine if this happened to me, I would feel similarly—a significant, but also manageable sense of loss. Food for thought as we spend so much time and money preserving our archives.


If he had just opened his Trash folder and recovered all his messages he would still have all those memories. But then again he wouldn’t have received payment for the article.

It’s a shame he lost these emails because he didn’t do backups and was unable to prioritize his spending so he could purchase 100GB of storage for $20 bucks a year.


This is how I felt after reading the article too. I mean…it sounds like he’s made a number of spending choices that prioritize just about everything else over his email account. I mean…he doesn’t have to have Spotify. He’s welcome to own his own records. And he doesn’t have to pay for Prime. Or three separate TV subscription services.

The body, in essence: This is a shakedown—pay us a subscription fee in perpetuity, and we will continue granting you what we once promised would be free access to your own life and memories .

I don’t think Gmail ever offered unlimited storage for free, did they? Or is he talking about the custom domain thing?

Nope. It launched with 1GB and is now at 15GB.

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Remember the bad old days when you could back up to Gmail?
It has all the trappings of backing up to VHS tape.

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We do spend too much money on preserving our backups (at least I do). As I approach the end of the year, I review where I spend things…

$200/month in Backups (between iCloud, Gmail, Cloud Backups for my NAS)
$120/month in Streaming (Prime, Spotify, Netflix, etc)

I haven’t even looked at the software subscriptions for this past year. While they are easily justifiable, it always begs the question of - Do I really need that many backups?

Reference for the Backup in case anyone is wondering.

  1. Backblaze for copying my mac and my wife
  2. NAS 1 (main) backs up to Synology C2 Storage, Wasabi Cloud, and NAS 2 (backup)
  3. NAS 2 backs up to Synology C2, Wasabi

The idea was if NAS 1 breaks, I have cloud and NAS 2.
If theft or fire occurs and I lose both physical locations, I have 2 separate cloud locations
If I lose the cloud locations and the physical, well then…we just deal with loss and pay for counseling, which also means there has probably been some Die Hard global disaster and at that point, I will be thankful to be alive.


How is it even possible, to find enough streaming services for that amount of money?


You clone your wife?


I accidentally did a smaller-scale version earlier this year when I was cleaning up my email. I didn’t nuke my inbox, but I did intentionally delete large batches of archived messages. When I went looking for a particular email message a few weeks later, though, I realized I had been more aggressive in my pruning than I intended. I panicked for a bit, then tried to think of ways to restore, but ultimately made peace with the fact that I will never been able to read those messages again. That episode, coupled with a recent hard drive failure, have made me really evaluate what I consider important enough to keep (and to spend the time and effort on ensuring I have proper backups and safeguards in place), and what I can lose (and in fairness, probably should discard) without any negative effects. It’s a hard battle between my tendency to be tidy and efficient vs. my completionist desire to archive things I find interesting (but not necessarily important).


More interestingly, have you ever tried to restore an earlier version? :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ll get back on my soapbox and say that this is another example of why using email as a filing system is a bad idea. Backup and recovery can be much more difficult due to lack of granularity. Often it requires restoring the entire email store to a prior state. You should be able to restore a single message without affecting anything else.


To say nothing of the increased risk of data loss from the protocol itself. It’s not that IMAP is a problem, but rather that email software that goes off the rails can rather easily delete messages that it shouldn’t. The risk is (IMHO) much higher than a bunch of emails sitting in a local storage vault of some sort.

only clone her MacBook LOL :rofl: it would help if i double-checked my own grammar… I’m sure there’s an app for that…another subscription…

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Minno for the kids
SuperBook (CBN) for the kids

Hulu with HBO Max
Apple Music
Paramount+ (accidental purchase - forgot to cancel before the trial was over, got billed annually)

I’ve been asking for refunds lately when this happens to me and they’re almost always granted. FYI


I only keep Amazon Prime year round and rotate through a handful of others when they have new content I might enjoy. To keep things simple I immediately cancel any of these subscription services I only plan to use for a month or two.

They don’t let me forget when my subscription is going to expire.


Same here. Visited my parents over the holidays, and we subscribed to HBO Max because there was a movie we all wanted to watch. $15 for one month of the “no commercials”, which was a great deal for 4 people watching a movie at home (compared to going to a theater), and cancelled within 5 minutes of actually paying for it to avoid the rebill. :slight_smile:


TBH I dont know hows ur experience been but Paramount+ seems to be a very good service amongst the other streaming options right now. Offers a right mixc of classic + original content.