The Millions

Footprints in the Snow

1.

This will delete all the media and data, and reset all settings, my phone warned me.

Yes.

Are you sure to continue? All the media, data, settings will be deleted. This cannot be undone.

Yes, I know. I’m also aware that my phone hasn’t been backed up for three months, because my free iCloud library is already full. Which means when I get a new phone and restore the data from my cloud, my phone can only remember what happened until this May. It will be greeted with few recollections of what happened and a strong sense of emptiness. Three months’ memory mysteriously gone, buried deep in an inaccessible corner of the old phone, only to be either completely pulverized when the unusable hardware is crushed or split into pieces when segments are recycled. The memory will become the shadow of someone else’s, a heart pumping for another body.

What about me? How about my three months’ memory? On which date does the clock of my memory stop ticking?

I visit the store and get a replacement. My new phone looks exactly the same as the old one. If I were willing to pay for a bigger cloud storage, I would be able to retrieve all my data from the cloud and my transition between phones would be seamless. But I’ve lost three months’ worth of memory. When I stare at the screen of my new phone, I feel like I am looking at

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