Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Digital Clutter…

…a mess that you can’t escape.

A majority of my summer has involved cleaning. I’ve been sorting through my room and some boxes in the basement because I’ll be a senior in college this year–who knows where I will end up living after school? And I sure know that I won’t want to move all of my boxes out of my parents’ basement.

Now that it is almost August, I will soon be sorting through what I need to bring to college this year (I keep telling myself that I will take less stuff this year, but who am I kidding).

Not only did I have to organize my physical items, but I also had to organize files on my computer. My laptop had been “acting up” for a few months, so I decided that it was, sadly, time to get a new one. That led me to sorting through all of my computer files and transfering the important ones to my new laptop and saving everything else on external drives.

That got me thinking.

It seems as if everything is digital now–music, books, photos, documents–and I feel like some of us may become digital hoarders (a new TLC show, anyone?). If you were to look through my computer files, you may see photos of random objects and draft after draft of Word documents.

What’s scary is that we are becoming hoarders without realizing it. We have so much digital data, and, in my case, backups of everything. I’m afraid that one day the Internet will spontaneously cease to exist. What if my laptop just happens to combust one day?

The event that made me become aware of this phenomenon was when my Yahoo email got hacked. I decided that I was going to transfer all of my accounts that used my Yahoo email address to my Gmail address and delete my Yahoo account. I looked through Yahoo to see if there were any emails or contacts that I would need in the future. I found that there were hundreds of emails that I didn’t need or about which I had forgotten. I ended up exporting my emails, but do I really need them? Like, what’s going to happen to them when I die?

I guess my whole point of this blog post is to point out that the digital world can also cause stress, just like how a messy room can. It’s great to have documentation and back-ups of important files, but I think we need to be aware of how much data we have online and on or PCs (don’t get me started on the “cloud”). Perhaps we should also clean up our digital files as often as we clean our homes. #FoodForThought

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