Overflowing inboxes, endless streams of photos and enormous contact lists are the norm. In the era of massive computer memory, cheap external hard drives and simple cloud storage, holding on to our digital possessions is easy.
Phones, tablets and laptops easily store thousands upon thousands of photos, Gmail logs away years of correspondence and entire works of literature can be filed away in a tiny folder (the complete works of Shakespeare clock in under 10 MB, the size of two song downloads). We keep our music, college papers, photos (good and bad, why bother choosing?) and our writing. Blogs log away personal writing and memories, our social media accounts chronicle every last update.
Digital hoarding may be sleekly contained in a laptop or smartphone, but it’s hoarding nonetheless: How do you keep your digital life organized? Is your technology cluttered, or do you trash the things you don’t use?
Zeynep Tufekci, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University