Many people have chosen to go paperless in the hope that it will stop their homes being overrun with stacks of paper. However, while this may have been something that they have achieved in terms of physical paperwork, the chances are that all of this paperwork is being digitally stored somewhere instead and it is still backing up. When it comes to digital hoarding there are other things that are also probably collecting on your laptop, phone and tablet. We are all taking more photos than we did before because we always have our phones to hand. We don’t delete these photos anymore than we would throw away physical copies.
However, for some people, digital hoarding is more of a way of life than just letting documents and photos build up on their devices. They actively search out things that they can keep on hard drives such as sound clips and images. They share these collections online with others that share the same interests, or those that also consider themselves digital hoarders. Digital hoarding is somewhat different from the traditional view that people have of hoarding. For most people who are involved in this hobby it is more about the collecting side of things than the actual need to keep things. They will actively seek the things out that they are interested in collecting and when they acquire them they will sort it in an ordered fashion.
Psychologists believe that digital hoarding is a far more positive experience than traditional hoarding. People who take part in this hobby take pride in their collections and enjoy talking about it with other people that share this passion. This can make it a very positive experience. The hoarding does not take over their life and it doesn’t take up a lot of physical space. On the other hand, physical hoarding is often associated with stress and anxiety. A person that is considered to be a hoarder struggles with the concept of throwing things away and the thought of this can cause real distress. The things that they become attached to often have no monetary value. They are not stored in any sort of order and it leads to the whole situation becoming quite chaotic.
There is a thriving online community of digital hoarders and one of the most popular places for them to get together is Reddit. The subreddit forum /r/datahoarder has over 120,000 subscribers. This is a really interactive forum where people can share their experiences and ask advice. People who use this forum see themselves as collectors rather than hoarders. They do not consider themselves to have any of the issues that physical hoarders have.
One of the main things that is discussed on this forum is how the data that users collect is organized. They spend a lot of time sorting the things that they have collected into folders and sub folders. This makes it easier for them to find exactly what they are looking for and also makes it easier to share with others. On the forum there is a lot of discussion about the different ways that files can be organized and the different methods that people use.
The moderators on the forum spend a lot of time making sure that the threads do not get clogged up with things that are not relevant. People do tend to spend a lot of money on hard drives and other equipment to store their files and pictures of this equipment is often shared online. The thing that users really want to see though is how this equipment is used and what other storage methods are being used. It is not really a place that you can just show off how much money you can spend on equipment, people also want to see exactly what you are doing with this equipment.
For a lot of people, part of the joy of being a digital hoarder is the hunt for rare digital items that cannot easily be found. Even though the internet is seen to be a place where you can access any information that you want, some things are harder to find than others. A great deal of research can go into finding a particular item and when it is found it can give a real sense of satisfaction. This is another way that is can contribute to a positive state of mind.