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De Burger-Fex: Where is cyberspace and why is it eating my documents?

Erna de Burger-Fex, our resident angry old woman columnist, lets off some frustration about a truly modern problem

What is this place called cyberspace? Is it a place at all? Why and how do documents disappear into cyberspace? I once again experienced the frustration of losing just such an essay in that nether world recently.

After a herculean effort, I managed to write a “Letter to Myself.” That was the title. I suffered from writer’s block in recent weeks, so to get this story written at all took a humungous effort. With great frustration, after hours of searching every nook and cranny of this computer I’m typing on, it has disappeared. Can’t find it anywhere. 

So, my conclusion is that it must be hanging around “in cyberspace” with all the other lost articles. Where else can it be? If I have accidentally deleted it, is that were it resides now? So how do I retrieve it from there? There must be a way ...

In desperation, I turned to my Canadian Oxford Dictionary, published and printed in 1998, and lo and behold, I found a description of cyberspace. Here it is: 1. A forum in which the global communications network operates”; 2. Computing the electronic realm in which virtual reality is experienced.

All right, so now I have a vague idea as to what it is, but I can’t find any way to discover where my essay is hiding nor how to bring it back into the light from the darkness. My family computer gurus all live far away so they can’t be of any assistance to me. (Where are my kids/grandkids when I need them?) 

Sometimes my husband can retrieve articles that I’ve sent to the wrong section. “Where is your path, Erna? It’s easier to find your document if you follow a path!” I know he’s right, but somehow have not mastered that undoubtedly good advice.

I love writing my stories on my computer and usually it behaves as it should. I know it’s not my computer’s fault, but that darn cyberspace annoys me to no end. I’ve actually rewritten essays because I could not discover the previous ones! 

I realise that there are readers who will chuckle at my inabilities to comprehend this thing called cyberspace.

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher who writes about aging and the funny side of getting older. Got a question for Erna? Email