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Digital Hoarding

Web 2.0 Sickness: Symptoms of a Digital Hoarder

I'm always talking about how important it is to give your computer a good cleaning inside and out in order to keep your machine in tip-top shape, but apparently there are some of you out there that aren't listening. Online hoarding is quickly becoming a web 2.0 phenomenon that many people may not even realize they have contracted —hoarding isn't a computer virus that you can catch, but it's a habit that should be broken ASAP.

The secret to a healthy computer is cutting the fat — fat being an overabundance of emails, files, movies, downloads, and games that rarely (or worse, never) get deleted. This can slow down your computer to a crawl, despite any upgrades in hard drive space and RAM you've added. The closer you get to the limit on your computer's storage, the closer it is to crashing for good.

Want to find out if you're a digital hoarder? Check the symptoms after the jump.

  • You keep every email "just in case"
  • You keep all of your movies on your laptop so you'll have them with you when you travel, instead of choosing one or two to take along.
  • You've never deleted a single photo you've imported from your camera
  • You've never emptied your web browser's cache (or don't know what that is)
  • You download files from the Internet, but never empty your downloads folder
  • The last time you played Spore was in early 2009, but it's still installed on your computer
  • You can't explain why it's a good idea to "back-up" your important files
  • You don't know what it means to store information "in the cloud"

If you identify with a majority (or all of these) symptoms, chances are you're a hoarder. What should you do now if you're a digital hoarder? Start practicing safe computing by ridding your machine of any unnecessary files, emails, games, and documents, and back up your essential data to an external hard drive or in the cloud. Have any other questions about storing data, backing up your information, or cleaning out the guts of your computer? Ask away!

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
KateLynn2011 KateLynn2011 6 years
I'm a hoarder. I have five e-mail accounts and two of those accounts I have more than 2,000 e-mails saved "just in case." I hate deleting things, but I supposed I should so my computer runs better.
AlisonMcg67 AlisonMcg67 6 years
This is why I reformat and reinstall every six months.
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