I gaze at my phone in frustration, thumb flickering speedily backwards and working as fast as I can make it go.
Stabby fingers and teeth grinding in frustration as I hit delete, delete, delete, delete…
I’m on the top of a mountain in Wales. I’d accidentally left my camera in the car, but when I realised I hadn’t wanted to head a mile back down the track to get it – after all, I had my phone, which I had specifically chosen for it’s fab camera. I’m no landscape photographer – all I wanted was memories of our day – it would be fine. But three hours later I was standing at the top of the mountain, not enjoying the view and feelings of proud triumph after the climb because I was having to furiously scroll back through my gallery, deleting as I went to make some room.
And of course I had completely lost the moment I had whipped my phone out for, as the husband had spontaneously balanced Bear high on his shoulders so that she could try and reach the sky. She was back down on the ground and rummaging for some well-earned lunch and I was still trying to clear some space in my phone, deleting photos I wasn’t convinced I had already backed up, and hoping I was making the right choices.
Just so frustrating.
So I wasn’t really surprised when I saw that WD® revealed research a few weeks ago that over half of female consumers in the UK have been forced to delete content from a technology device, due to capacity issues, and then have regretted doing so. Oh, that sounds properly familiar… And it’s horrible. We’re so emotionally connected to our photographs, they’re so intrinsically tied up with the actual physical moments in our head that deleting them feels horrible.
Now for me I knew it was simply laziness on my part – I had nearly a year’s worth of photos sitting in my phone, and though I’d backed them up not that long ago I wasn’t absolutely sure when; and I hadn’t cleared my phone down at the same time… y’know, just in case I ever wanted to look at those 57 photos of the Italian beach on my phone (I don’t). But it’s easy to be wise with hindsight. And apparently, lots of us don’t even know why we’re close to filling the storage on our phones. I’m a pretty light user actually – apart from the actual phone thing, I only use a few apps regularly. But according to this survey, 71% of us are downloading an app to a mobile device at least monthly, and around three in ten downloading a feature film to a mobile device equally as often.
So what’s the answer? Well obviously it’s to regularly Back It Up, people! And I know it’s a tedious and time-consuming thing that you always mean to get round to – but actually there are other options. You can of course do it the traditional back up route – apparently a third of us have invested in an external hard drive, connected via a cable. Which means you sit at your desk, plug your phone in and drag/drop your photos etc to the storage drive to keep safely. Simple, effective but you do have to remember to actually do it regularly.
The second option is the cloud storage – which is dead easy, and your device will take care of it for you, meaning no more lost data. But that does mean a monthly payment, and also means that all your precious memories are in the hands of a third party. Out there, somewhere, in whatever mystical place the Dark Art of The Cloud lives in (no, I don’t really understand it either).
But there is actually a third way – a sort of hybrid between the two. A storage drive that lives in real life, in your own home, not in mystical nowhere land, that your phone can automatically connect and backup to whenever it’s in range – whether you remember to tell it to or not.
I know, genius! You walk in your front door, your phone finds the drive and hey presto, all your days photos are now stored safely away.
If this sounds exactly what you need, then WD’s My Cloud is the magic box of awesome you’re looking for… (NB – keep an eye on Day 12 of the #LittleStuff24. I promise you’ll love it…). Unlike public clouds, the My Cloud personal cloud storage allows you to keep all your content in one safe place on your home network, so there’s no mystery about where your data is located. Plus, you get all the storage you need with no monthly fees.
Bearing in mind that the average UK female consumer now values their digital content at £2,443 (not sure about that figure myself – my storage drive containing the last 12 years worth of digital photographs of my growing family means a lot more to me than a measly two grand…), it seems a pretty good idea to invest a little in a decent back up solution, doesn’t it?