I did a digital cleanup this week. I sorted through my documents, downloaded a backup of this blog, downloaded some old videos that I want to keep, and edited some accounts and email forwarding settings. I was thinking about what would happen if my email account got deleted, or something happened to this blog, and I realised that I both care more about my digital belongings, and have less clear control over them than the things I own IRL. I mean, if I have my most important physical items in a box, that's my stuff and my box, right? There's always potential to lose things, but I own the things and the box they're in. On the internet though, I own my things, but they're in someone else's box. Specifically I'm talking about my stuff how it appears online, rather than the digital files I keep myself on my computer and external hard drive.
I was talking to Elliot about this earlier and how weird it is, actually, that the thought of losing photos or words I've posted online is so terrifying to me, because I say things with my actual real mouth in actual real space all the time that I don't get to remember and keep and stroke a James Bond villain with a cat made of sound waves. So if I think of it like that, maybe I can care a bit less. I'm not saying I shouldn't care at all, because obviously my blog and my general presence online is important to me. I'm not gonna be able to just wave goodbye to these things as if they're transient thoughts or silly mouth noises, because they are a bit more permanent than that, but I wanna see the loss of online content a bit more like I'd see losing a sock or something - kinda sad, but it's just a sock.
I also spread myself out a lot online anyway, so if something happened to a particular account at least I'd still have the others. I guess it's the sheer depth of this blog and all the time and energy I pour into it every day that makes it so large in my mind. I described it as similar to a third arm in a comment recently on Mushroom Rain Blog, so there's no denying I'm attached to my blog, but if something happened and I lost it, I want to know I'd dust myself off and continue. I have a lot more future webcam pictures to post, so why worry about all my previous ones?
I also do think I hang on to my files more than I really need to. It never occurred to me until today that digital hoarding could exist, but it does. The icon I use in the screenshot above is a picture of my Freddo toy, and I just realised
I've been keeping the image file carefully stored in my downloads folder
for a good while now because I was really happy when I took the
picture, so seeing it there made me happy. The actual toy is sitting about two metres away from me right
now, so you know what, I'm deleting the picture from my downloads
Here is an updated picture of me and Freddo: