I looked at my cell phone again. The “erase” button jumped off the screen.
At my wife’s urging, I recently purchased a new phone and was getting ready to trade in my old one. To protect my information, I needed to erase everything and return the phone to its original factory settings. In technology-speak, I needed to wipe the phone clean.
I read the reminder message again. With one click, five years of my life would be gone. Up in smoke. Deleted from the Netherworld. Wiped clean from the cloud.
Of course, I clicked the button and went on with the rest of my day. Later that night, though, I thought about the mountain of information the phone had collected. For five years, I carried that phone everywhere in my hands or pocket. It became an extra appendage.
I carried that phone to work, the gym, graduations and surprise birthday celebrations. I used the phone for everything from the mundane to the special, everyday life to milestone events.
I had deep conversations with my wife and kids — okay, as deep as you can get with text, Messenger, and WhatsApp —on that phone.
I held the phone up for too many family selfies to count.
And with one click, I killed off those memories on the phone. Fortunately, I had saved the phone’s contents to the cloud so I knew that erasing them from the phone wasn’t permanently erasing them
Life is funny. We run and we run and we never slow down. We never stop to think twice and then out of nowhere we’re forced to a halt. In my case, my old trusted phone had been steadily losing battery power. I had to keep it plugged in to get any juice. The phone was dying.
Like most people, I’ve gone from not needing a smart phone to not understanding how I could live without one. It’s become that important.
So yes, I erased the phone.
I just don’t want to erase the life that we’ve created.