morons and synpathy
If she's lost 10 years worth of photos, it follows that she has gone 9 years plus without a backup.
That's somewhere out there in the unexplored territory where you go beyond stupid, turn right, and keep going until the wheels fall off. Nine years!
Of course, as all of us here have no doubt seen for ourselves, Beyond Stupid is commonplace, and some remarkably intelligent people do it. Even people who are generally pretty careful about things can surprise you with a complete failure to backup.
So is this unique to computers, perhaps because people don't understand them or are subconsciously hostile to them?
Not really. It seems to apply to other seldom-needed but vital tasks too, especially ones that are a little unpleasant, or boring, or cost a small amount of money for no tangible immediate return, or not very easy to understand.
People go for decades without bothering to make a will; somehow manage to avoid the dentist until they have really serious pain, don't quite get around to paying the house insurance .... probably every profession can cite the dumb things people do (or more to the point don't do) which wind up hurting them badly.
But I still reckon that complete ffailure to backup is more common and more difficult to excuse than any of them.
I've spent my working life being polite and sympathetic to people who've just discovered that not having backups is a very bad idea. Sometimes I've been able to get their data back, sometimes not. Rule Clint applies. ("Do I feel lucky?") Win or lose though, I've always, always been sensitive to their feelings and handled them more-or-less the way an undertaker handles a bereaved family member. Underneath all that, of course, there is what I really think. Yes, yes, I do understand how easy it is to not backup, I really do. And I know, I really do know, the horrible sick feeling you get when you realise that you've really screwed something important up through your own carelessness. But you know what I really think, don't you. It's the same thing we techies all think when we see this happen: well what did you expect, you fu*king moron?