Are you a Digital Hoarder?

Thanks to channels A&E and TLC,  the world is now familiar with the bizarre world of extreme hoarders.  We aren’t talking about a cluttered closet or perhaps a spare room that becomes a catchall for items that don’t have homes.  We are talking about homes that are so full of stuff that you have to follow little “deer trails” to go from one room to the next.

Thankfully most people are not extreme hoarders in the physical sense, they know how to let go of things that they don’t need.  The issue I want to discuss is digital hoarding.  It is now easier than ever to load up hard drives, thumb drives, iPods, and other memory devices with digital clutter.  Think of the thousands of pictures, music files, video files, emails,  and document files that are stored and forgotten because they can’t be seen or found.  I’m willing to bet that most people reading this have files floating around that they haven’t seen or even thought about for years.

How is this different from physical hoarding?

Digital hoarding is invisible, does not interfere with daily life, and in most cases the items have no monetary worth.  However, there is a huge sentimental value tied to these items.  Should they be lost to lightning strike, flooding, or the death of a hard drive, it would be devastating.

Lesson of the day: be aware of the items stored on your devices, create duplicate copies to store in a safe place.  Even better, use them.  If you are hoarding old story ideas select one to develop and work to get it published.  Pictures? Pick one event and create a wall collage or start creating a digital scrap-book.  Songs? Go through and create a new playlist or mix CD to share with friends.

The things we keep are only as valuable as what we do with them.


About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
This entry was posted in Organizational Skills, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Are you a Digital Hoarder?

  1. Paula says:

    Good reminder. I finally got my new laptop – a replacement for my dear old “Toshi” and I’m already storing up tons of digital treasures!

  2. mlknudsen66 says:

    No matter how many pictures she takes, my wife does not believe in ever deleting a photo. And she’s so scared of losing them that we have thumb drive AND DVD backups of every picture ever taken, as well as prints. Is this excessive? I won’t judge. I don’t watch the “Hoarder” shows because I feel a little guilty being entertained by people’s obvious mental illness. What are we supposed to gain from that, comfort that our houses are not so bad compared with theirs?

    • Tsuchigari says:

      Photos are hard to get rid of, especially if they are of the family. Rest assured that one day should she decide to start creating photo books or scrapbooks there will be lots to choose from. What’s sad is that the event behind the photo might be forgotten when time rolls around to make something. Be sure to label!

  3. nrhatch says:

    I lost everything on my computer 2 years ago.
    The experience liberated me.

    FREEDOM from clutter (virtual, or otherwise) reminds us of what really matters . . . living in the HERE and NOW.

  4. Eleven Eleven says:

    That’s my desktop. It’s sheer laziness, really. The good stuff is mixed in with all that junk, and I don’t want to spend the time to separate the two. Once every six months or so I purge and delete like crazy.

  5. Agatha82 says:

    I’m quite tidy digitally and go through things periodically getting rid of old emails/photos I’m tired off etc. I’m getting in the habit of copying all my writing files in three different places as back up.

  6. aunt dianne says:

    But Jodi, I’m saving all your blogs…

  7. Pingback: Are you a Digital Hoarder? (via My Literary Quest) | Chicago Mac/PC Support

  8. oldancestor says:

    Not much need to hoard (or is it hoarde?) digitally, since many Web sites store photos, blog posts, etc.

    I’m not into gadgets or techie things, so my physical and digital space is pretty clutter free. I do hang onto books that I’ll never read again, but I usually end up giving them away or donating them to the library or a church fundraisier or something.

    I do have digital back-ups of my novel stashed everywhere though. I mean, my apartment, my mom’s house, and my car could all be destroyed in the same night, so need to make sure I don’t lose my work, you know?


    • tsuchigari says:

      Yep, I do know. I send digital copies of my work to hubby so he can store it off site at his work. Nice having the peace of mind that if the place floods or anything I don’t have to start from scratch.

      Glad to hear that you don’t collect stuff – it makes it that much easier if you ever have to move!

  9. teknophilia says:

    I agree, there are times I need to delete something, and find myself looking for reasons not to.

    • tsuchigari says:

      I have a few hundred pictures that my 4 yr old took with my camera that I still need to go through and get rid of. My reason not to is silly, I keep telling myself that one day I’ll do something wonderful with them like make a collage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s