I can keep my digital life. I’ve pretty much saved every file I’ve created since I was ten. The earliest file is a short, insightful essay entitled Adults, written in WordStar 3.0 in September of 1984. That document only occupies 4 KB on my hard drive, but as you might imagine, there have been a lot since then.
From embarrassing Goth short stories (“It seemed to Mr. Withencroft, that minutes were like hours”) to high school history essays (“Nicholas II strove for greatness, and tragically, he died because of his mediocrity”) to a six drafts of a play I recently finished (“do you want to be bouncing around and manhandledÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ womanhandled for the next hour?”), my digital life is really adding up.
What can I tell you? I’m a digital packrat with a nasty case of OCD. I’ve got about 2800 photos on Flickr, but I keep a local copy of every one, as well as the 6000-odd photos that aren’t good enough to get posted on Flickr. You never know when I might want a blurry shot of a couple strangers from 2002.
And then there’s the music. I have pretty shameful musical taste, but I’ve got 6330 MP3s kicking around my hard drive as well. That’s almost 3 weeks worth of music.
It all adds up. I regularly use SpaceMonger to free up some disk space, but that gets sucked up pretty quick. Never mind the 22 years of text, audio and video I’ve obsessively collected–there’s these things called ‘applications’ that are elephants in the room. You may have heard of Battlefield 2? That badboy is 2 GB when installed. That’s a lot of childhood essays.
Treasured possessions suffer loss, flood, fire and the more mundane ravages of time. I need a bigger hard drive because the archives and arcana of my digital life are growing at an exponential rate. Digital photographs may never fade, but they sure do pile up.