That might be followed by the beep of the TV or radio coming on, the beep of the coffee machine and the beep of the microwave as you heat your porridge.
The chances are, you’ll have heard a good few beeps before you speak actual words to a human being.
Your phone might beep with a traffic update. Your car’s computer might beep as you start the engine or, if you take the tube to work, the “beep, beep, beep” of the Oyster reader will probably put your beep-o-meter into the hundreds before you get to the office, beep through the security gate and hear the beep of your computer coming to life.
Technology has penetrated so deeply in our lives that, sometimes, it’s hard to remember what life was like before the beeps. Do you still recall when kettles boiled on the hob, clothes dried on the line and you called directory enquiries if you wanted to find a local plumber? Even what we considered to be “advanced technology use” at the end of the 90s – like booking cinema tickets over the phone – has quickly become a thing of the past.
Technology makes our lives easier, on the whole, and that’s why old traditions die out. But, it also brings new risks. Like the risk of losing the data that all these new devices hold. Yes, it’s great that you can carry every photo you’ve ever taken with you on your laptop – but at the same time, every photo you’ve ever taken is on that laptop if you lose it.
That was never the case when you spent wet Sunday afternoons trying to force your snaps into clear plastic photo-album pages that were never quite as big as they needed to be. You could also drop those albums on the floor without too much worry. And you’d be extremely unlucky if your envelope of four-by-sevens was affected by a power surge.
Fortunately, once you’ve realised how much technology is in your life, and how much of your stuff is digital, there are lots of things that you can do to protect yourself. Like getting cloud backup to make sure that there’s always a copy of your data if anything goes wrong.
If you’re protected already, you can treat each of those beeps you’re hearing as the soothing confirmation that you’re prepared for life in the digital age. Or, if cloud backup is still something on your to-do list, maybe it’s worth treating them as a reminder to get on and do it. You can even backup for free.