Minerva's Breakdown

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Dear Minerva:

An old friend recently reached out to me to rekindle our friendship that had soured. It was nice to hear from her and she has really changed her life for the better. In the process of reconnecting, she seemed heartfelt and I believe that she has turned over a new leaf. However, she got very angry when she discovered that I hadn’t deleted any of her messages from before. I rarely clean out my text messages and everything is automatically saved to the Cloud anyway. She was really upset and offended that I hadn’t deleted the stuff. I think she is overreacting. There is nothing incriminating or intimate on there. Am I wrong?

Sincerely,

Head in the Cloud

Dear Head:

I could understand your friend being upset if you had intimate photos or incriminating evidence of transgression tucked away. Since this isn’t a scenario like that, your friend needs to chill out. Technology has made us unwitting hoarders and historians. Busy lives and lack of malevolence lead us to just keep old messages and photos indefinitely. Morally, I would say you absolutely should delete stuff if it is of an intimate nature and the relationship sours. Also, delete if you are asked to. Your friend, and everyone else for that matter, should remember that once it is out there, it is out there. Your friend may be uncomfortable being reminded of the person that she used to be, but it isn’t your job to protect her from her own past self.

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