Chris J Powell

Our Reliance on the Cloud

With more time on my hands lately I have been enjoying the fall lineup of new TV shows and one that stands out for me is the NBC Drama Revolution.  The premise of the show is a world that all devices that require electricity are wiped out by a “virus” or some other event that plunges the planet into darkness and last night’s episode had one of the supporting characters explain why she was still carrying around an iPhone 15 years after the world went dark.  She had no physical pictures of her children, everything was stored on that handy device that before the world went dark…she could call up what ever she wanted, when ever she wanted to and see, touch and manipulate her life.

We as a society do rely on our personal electronics a great deal.  Cloud Backup, ever increasing personal storage, the world is all about Data and that reliance is a big deal in more than one way.  While the idea that the TV Show Revolution is just a plausible as a world inhabited by Zombies or Nuclear Winter…it caused me to really sit back and think about how much I rely on things that I store digitally.  My books (at least what I have acquired in the past 10 years) are almost exclusively digital (last count was 85GB of PDF and ePub books), my music is almost exclusively digital (last count just over 200 GB).  My digital Photos sit at an unbelievable 150GB (that is just 2 years worth).  Even my movie collection is almost entirely digital with well over 1 TB of entertainment stored digitally at home.

A recent InfoGraphic published at illustrates this even more as our lives and all of our information is migrated to the Cloud:

What and where your data is being stored has never been as big of a deal as it is right now.  The reliance on our own digital world could really be our undoing.  What would the world look like if the lights went out and you could not get access to your family photos it would truly be a challenge to conjure up the memories of loved ones.

I am not saying that this is a future that will happen, but the reality is…it could happen and that is what makes it scary.  This is a bigger threat than a SkyNet or a Nuclear War…the loss of our ability to function in an Analog world…when everything has gone digital is a clear and present danger.

It is time to print off some of those photos, buy a printed book or two (that is not related to computers) and focus on living today…for all that it is worth.


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