I have a long history of issues with my cloud. The main problem being that I can’t wrap my head around it. Some people can’t get their heads out of the clouds - I can’t get mine in.
I suffer from the trap of the literal mind. I have to picture things. And not just food or sitting on a shoreline.
Once every week or so my phone tells me it failed to back up because there is not enough cloud storage. Then it prompts me to buy a bigger, better cloud. Why would I buy more of something that I can’t comprehend now?
They want me to buy something I can’t see. What next? A bridge in Jersey? Hey, I wasn’t born yesterday.
Seeing is believing.
If I looked up at the sky and saw a cloud floating by with my name on it, or even just my initials on it, I’d be good. I wouldn’t even care if it were a cirrus, cumulus, stratus or nimbus - though one of those huge anvil clouds would be cool.
It would also be nice to see whose cloud is next to my cloud and if there is any cloud aggression going on. That way I could yell, “Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!” The Rolling Stones were in cyberspace before cyberspace was cool.
It’s the metaphor that is the problem. Yes, I understand that my calendar, documents, photos, emails and many things are in a cloud, but a cloud is … puffy. A cloud can evaporate and dissolve into nothingness. Why would I want to store my life in something wispy? A vault or a safe room, maybe; a cloud, no.
I would do better if the message on my phone said, “Your reinforced steel file cabinet in the sky is full and you need a bigger one, so pay up.”
Work stored in a file cabinet is easy to imagine. A file cabinet is tangible, it holds things, lots of things, and you can even lock it.
For example, I know where all my tax records are. I know where my supporting receipts and invoices are. They’re upstairs in a two-drawer file cabinet where both drawers are jammed full and completely inaccessible courtesy of a shoe rack.
I may not be able to open the file cabinet, but I know where the file cabinet is. And that’s why the cloud wins. I may not know where my cloud is, but I can access its contents, which I understand are stored on a giant server called a Lexus. Or a Linux. Again, a Lexus I can picture, a Linux I cannot.
I’d be happy with an arrow on a map of the sky marking the Lexus holding my large file cabinet that says, “You are here.”
That I can visualize.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Her new book, “What Happens at Grandma’s Stays at Grandma’s” is now available. Email her at [email protected]