We live in the Digital Age. Digital music, photos, e-cards, downloaded movies, etc. The mementos of life are now just electrons. Not many cards, letters, film. Nothing tangible.
Here's the kicker: Most people don;t have back-up either.
If you buy 100 CD's and strip off your MP3's and your iPod breaks or gets lost, you still have the CD's. When your hard drive fails, will you have DVD back-ups of your wedding photos? Your 40th birthday party? Or will it all be lost when BIOS can't find the drive? If your cell phone gets lost or broken, you have lost your address book. And in some cases have no way to call people since we are not dialing numbers any more - but contact links in the digital address book.
Despite Katrina, 9/11, and dozens of other weather based disasters, people still don't back-up data. One reason is that back-up is neither automatic nor easy.
To back-up an 80GB hard drive (the first time) using an ADSL line at the standard 378k upstream will take hours. Even storing your 2GB Outlook PST file can take a while. Add in the expense along with the hassle and the it-won't-happen-to-me mentality and you can see why there are so many back-up providers. None have become the Vonage of back-up. You know, huge ad spend with annoying music to explain what and why to back-up. The NYT had an article about one provider who I have never heard of: SugarSync.
Back-up is Insurance against the very real possibility of data loss. Hard drives do fail. Cell phones do get lost, stolen, and broken.
Back up is peace of mind. At least use a flash drive or external hard drive.