Like many other people, I was seduced into updating my phone iOS by the promise of emoji like 🦄 and 🌮. What I didn't know was that it came with another function.
  1. I was watching tv & trying to unwind.
  2. I have been under a lot of stress lately, so these small windows of relaxation are sort of a substitute for sleep.
    user error is definitely partially to blame in this sad tale, but mostly I blame Apple.
  3. Swiping distractedly on my email inbox brought up a dialog box that said "Erase All" which I absently clicked.
  4. My phone then erased over 100,000 messages - 13 years of email.
  5. A swipe.
  6. A click.
  7. Every important contract or client exchange was carried into the trash
    well, this seems like not as big of a deal, right?
  8. But my phone mail had always been set to delete messages in the trash older than a week.
    Which is what it systematically began doing, with no way to interrupt or quit the process.
  9. I ran to my computer and watched as every message delete from my server while I waited on hold for Apple chat support.
  10. Because their phone lines were closed.
  11. .
  12. .
  13. .
  14. Emails from when I first met my husband.
  15. Emails from my most prestigious clients.
  16. Photos from my wedding that guests emailed.
  17. Emails from fans that lifted me up on dark days.
  18. Photos from family gatherings.
  19. Photos from my art shows, from friends, from professionals.
  20. Legal exchanges. Contracts. Client contact information.
  21. All the messages that made up the last 13 years of business and life.
  22. All the replies from when I asked my friends for their snail mail addresses and birthdays.
  23. Gone.
  24. .
  25. .
  26. .
  27. Inbox Zero.
  28. I had a panic attack.
    If you're having a panic attack and you have asthma, you actually stop being able to breathe. you feel like you're levitating. Everything goes out of focus. it's a terrible feeling, and it hurts in your lungs and eyes.
  29. One click, one swipe.
  30. it shouldn't be this easy to see so much of your world disappear.
  31. Beware.
  32. .
  33. .
  34. .
  35. I'm using every ounce of willpower to not end this list with the emoji middle finger.
  36. You can tell that the people who work at Apple and developed this feature are inbox Zero enthusiasts, because they work in tech.
  37. I can't imagine people outside of tech would want to do this. Would want to see their lives empty of these details.
  38. .
  39. I chatted with Apple support until 3 or 4 in the morning.
    Supervisor John was really nice but there wasn't much he could do.
  40. There was no way to undo or fix this.
    I contacted my email host, Mediatemple, and paid them $100 to look into it. No guarantees. No supervisors.
  41. .
  42. I asked Apple if there is a way to disable this feature and prevent oneself from mindlessly detonating their digital life like that in one second flat.
  43. There isn't.