Backup Before You Mess Up | Gabriella Patino

Backup Before You Mess Up

by Gabriella Patino

The day I dropped my phone in the toilet was April 1st. Though more commonly known as “April Fool’s Day,” I see it as just another month and just another day. Sometimes, I laugh at the absurd jokes I see online or on the prank TV shows. But April 1, 2017, I was not laughing. I woke up at an ungodly hour. 7:00 am. On a Saturday, that is usually the hour at which I am fast asleep. So fast asleep that I will probably be in that state for another three or four hours. But not April 1. No, today I had to wake up at 7:00 am, take a shower, eat breakfast, get all my things together, and be out of the house by 8:00 am. For me, the speed necessary to function doesn’t kick in until about an hour after waking up, so this was an issue all on its own. So there I was, doing the zombie walk from my bed to my bathroom to get ready and then back to my bedroom and then downstairs for breakfast all while slightly moaning and complaining to whichever family member was nice enough to listen. Then, before I left, I thought it would be a smart idea to use the bathroom. How proud my mother would be if she saw me thinking ahead... I thought to myself. So as I walk in there, my zombie walk slowly evolving into the crawl of a small child, I was proud. Then, Splash. My phone falls out of my back pocket and right into the toilet. Not so proud anymore. Now, I’m moving at the speed of light as if my own child had just fallen into a pool for the first time and doesn’t know how to swim. I hold up my phone and start trying to shake out the water.

“No, no, no, no,” I’m repeating to myself. I run to the pantry and frantically search for rice. The only rice we had was this strange, organic, gluten free jar of rice and that was just going to have to do. I bury my phone in the rice and then wait. I put my face close to the side of the jar and let out a huge puff of air. I back away from the jar thinking, oh my god. What the hell am I going to do? I was not one to backup my photos or contacts or music anywhere because that just sounds like a waste of time to me. Me on March 31 would have told you, “No of course I don’t have my photos backed up anywhere. I don’t need to do that! I never drop my phone and I never will.” Me now would say, “I’m a forgetful, clumsy, disastrous person who needs every type of insurance in the book.”

The worst part of this all was that I couldn’t do anything about it until the afternoon. I had errands and appointments all throughout the day. At the beginning of the day, I thought going a day, no, a HALF a day, would be no problem. I was confident that I would last a day without my phone. Oh boy was I wrong. I started worrying that my friends would think I was dead. I was worried that by the time I logged back onto social media, my obituary would be there waiting for me. I was worried that someone might post a bad photo of me on instagram and I wouldn’t be able to see it until the end of the day. And then, worst of all, when I finally got into the car, I realized I had to listen to…. the radio. Someone put me out of my misery. Then, once I finally got my new phone, I realized that all of my precious memories, my collection of photographs that spanned over years of my life, were gone. Just like that, after one drop into the toilet, all of that nostalgia I used to experience looking at my photos was gone forever. It was at this moment that I really wanted this to just be an April Fool’s joke. I waited eagerly for my past 7:00 am self to walk into the Verizon store and hand me back my beloved phone that I obviously can’t live without.

If I learned anything from this experience it is to backup your precious memories even if you think nothing bad could possibly happen to them. You never know what sleep deprivation and carelessness could do to a person. Technology is actually a pretty amazing thing if you let it be. All of the important things from your life- documents, photos, contacts- are all just a click away. Though nothing beats actual human interaction and spending time with one another face to face, looking back on memories is a gift. Wanting to keep up with friends and family we don’t see everyday on social media and through text messaging is not a crime. Wanting to snap a selfie every now and then is nothing to be ashamed of. Just be smart with your devices and know when to put them down and when to back them up so you don’t end up like me, embarrassed by my own phone.