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Dear Tim Cook, Thanks For The 18,202 Alerts About My iCloud Storage

Actually, 18,203 now.

Dear Tim Cook, Thanks For The 18,202 Alerts About My iCloud Storage
[Source photo: courtesy of Apple]

Dear Mr. Cook,

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I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks for all the iCloud notifications you’ve been sending me. You know, the ones that say, “iPhone Backup Failed. You do not have enough space on iCloud to back up this iPhone.” They’re a real lifesaver.  

You see, apparently it’s been 53 weeks since I successfully backed up my iPhone. (I know, right! Where does the time go?) But you? You. Never. Gave. Up. Thanks to your steadfast concern, every time I pick up my phone I’m alerted of my inadequate iCloud storage, about 18,202 times by my count. So it was today of all days–Tim “Old Trusty” Cook attempt 18,203–that the reality of my situation finally sunk in.

Holy crap. I’m out of iCloud storage! How did this happen–to me?

The moment I read that 18,203rd undismissed notification on my home screen, my whole life changed. First, I called my wife. We had the Talk. It was tough, but I’m glad we did it. Our relationship will only be stronger in the long run.

Then I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket, again, and lo and behold, what was waiting for me? Alert No. 18,204. Tim! My man! That’s just above and beyond at this point! My fingers ran over the device, this impossible symbol of progress, finished with curving glass that I swear must have been hand blown by some ancient sect of Shaolin monks since relocated to Shenzhen. Could God herself have crafted a more perfect container for your message–“iPhone Backup Failed. You do not have enough space on iCloud to back up this iPhone”? 

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Only now do I realize, you must have felt like Ryan Gosling’s character in The Notebook. You were at war, friend, a war for my data’s life and liberty! So you sent me all these letters! And because they stick on my home screen, you effectively sent them countless times a day, out of a fundamental personal concern that goes so far as to ensure I can’t use my phone without acknowledging them.

Some might call this advertisement of Apple’s storage plans, billboarded atop everything else on the lock screen, as a manipulative, opportunistic, downright sneaky abuse of power by the iOS platform. How come there’s no little X to dismiss that notification like all the others? I know how come. Because you care! 

Here I was, so blindly prioritizing other things in my day–work, play, ugh, a toddler–rather than signing up for a 200GB of cloud storage for the modest price of $3.99/month. That’s, what, a third the cost of a Netflix subscription these days? Granted, Netflix is investing $7 billion on programming this year, and you’re just storing some photos and stuff for me on a networked hard drive. Come to think of it, that’s a service Amazon and Google offer me free, and I didn’t even buy a phone from them. But still! That’s basically the price of a cup of coffee for Apple “Designed in California” quality. So much cheaper than Netflix. And between us, Reed Hastings never writes.

Look, I know there are haters. Ugh, like all those phishing scammers, copying your omnipresent iOS alerts in attempt to steal my login. If they only knew how heartfelt those 18,204–actually, 18,205 now–iPhone notifications were. They wouldn’t dare.

Anyway, this is all to say, Tim, message received LOUD AND CLEAR. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but finally, today, after 53 long weeks of dunce-i-tude, I’ve comes to terms with the fact that I am out of iCloud storage. However…and this is kind of awkward…while I’d love to say I’m going to buy more, right when I finish this letter? I think we both know better by now.

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.

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