Admit it: you like your phone more than you like most of your friends. It's nothing to be ashamed of — your phone offers instant access to all of human knowledge, solves most of your problems in seconds, and never asks you to be a plus-one for its annoying college buddy's wedding. It'd be weird if you weren't obsessed with it.
Unfortunately, our tiny, electronic companions do have one flaw — their death wish. Our phones constantly smash, crash, and are drawn to water like newborn ducklings. And unless you're a responsible human being who uses a cloud like OneDrive for backup, all those precious memories and phone numbers you forgot to memorize might be destroyed when the inevitable happens and your phone breaks. And that burns — like, a "finding out all your friends went to brunch without you via an indiscreetly tagged Instagram photo of French toast"-level burn.
Fortunately, keeping your information safe and sound is a lot easier than figuring out which of your friends secretly thinks you can't handle the responsibility of a bottomless brunch. We often forget it's our data we love, not our actual phones. From the texts you never want to forget to the photos you don't want anyone else to see, backing up your data to OneDrive will keep it secure, accessible from all your devices, and safe in spite of the horrors that may befall your phone in its nasty, brutish, and short life.
But backing up your phone does more than just chill you out in cases of run-of-the-mill damage. It can also save your ass when a one-in-a-million phone catastrophe threatens to upend your entire digital existence.
Let's take, Ben, 25, for example. Ben was on a first date at a restaurant and using the restroom when his phone fell out of his pants pocket — and right into a recently, um, used toilet bowl.
"So once I fished my phone out," Ben revealed, "everything on it was completely destroyed, obviously. But then I had to explain to my date exactly why I had been in the bathroom for 15 minutes." His long trip to the bathroom wasn't the only thing that screwed up Ben's chance for love (or at least doing some over-the-pants stuff later): "Once I got home, I realized that even if she were interested in a second date with a dude who spent 15 minutes in the bathroom on a first date, I couldn't do anything about it, because I didn't have her email and had only saved her number in the now-trashed phone."
Even if you're not on the dating market, backing up your phone data can help streamline other stressful area of your life — like ensuring that the only awkward situations your family experiences are when Grandma gets wasted on Christmas. Claire, 27, was having a standard Friday night out when she turned away from her phone on the bar counter. When she turned back around, she realized her phone had been stolen — unfortunately, also a fairly regular part of a standard Friday night out. But this was only the beginning of the problems losing her info would bring. "When I got home," Claire said, "I had an email from my dad telling me someone had texted him from my number, saying that I'd been arrested for public nudity and needed him to come bail me out." And as if that wasn't bad enough: "He asked me to call him to explain...and I had to admit to my dad that I didn't have his phone number memorized, written down, or saved anywhere besides my lost phone."
Sometimes it's your family members themselves who are the ones guilty of murdering your phone. Sarah, 31, was visiting her newborn niece to take some baby pictures and help her sister out around the house.
"I was also so tired that I felt like my eyeballs were melting. During one of these melting-eyeball-exhaustion moments, I started texting a friend to complain, then picked up the baby to change her while I was texting. I put the phone down on the changing table, took the dirty diaper off, put the clean diaper on, threw out the dirty diaper, and...the changing table was clear. Where was the phone?"
Sarah's search through the house grew more and more frantic...until she felt a familiar rectangular shape in her niece's diaper.
"Yep, I had accidentally stuck my phone down the diaper of a helpless infant. And the phone was no longer in, shall we say, operating order. So I had to start from square one with the baby pictures, and getting anyone to believe that was why I needed to get their number again was a real uphill battle."
Gabrielle Moss has written mostly funny stuff (but also some serious stuff) for GQ.com, The Hairpin, Nerve, etc. You can follow her here.