Hoarding in the Digital Age

A sampling of some of my own Pinterest boards.

 

We’ve all heard about hoarding; pack rats gone extreme. Hoarding: Buried Alive on TLC shows us the devastation it can bring by taking us into the homes of people who have serious issues letting go and keeping clean. It’s a scary reality that has possibly touched you or someone you know.

I’m glad to say that even as someone who loves to collect things – shoes, clothes, movies, albums, etc. – it has never gotten to the point to where I’ve thought all my stuff would one day literally smother me. But, with so much being accessible online these days, and our increasing affinity as a society to “favorite” things as we surf the Internet, I began to think that our digital world is not unlike real life hoarding.

How many of you have a favorites list on your Internet browser that is so long you don’t remember everything that’s there? Do you keep it all organized?

The epiphany that we have become collectors of digital content came to me as I sat at my computer late one night liking things and pinning things to my boards on Pinterest. It’s an addictive site. Everywhere you go online, if you see something you like, you can add it to your boards. It’s the instant gratification of having something without truly needing to possess it. Digital life has allowed us to become pack rats without the physical luggage.

Worst of all, I believe it’s increasing our prevalance as human beings to procrastinate. It’s making us less proactive. Our “save for later mentality” has grown stronger. The more we pin, the more we save, the more time it takes to click and read everything we’ve set aside, the less likely we will be to go back and view it all.

Yet, I’m not ready or willing to give up my Pinterest boards or my favorites. I’d much rather be a hoarder of digital images and links as opposed to a hoarder of real life clutter.

What I love most about Pinterest is the ability for us to share what we love with others whether they be friends or strangers. Not only can I save things, but I can find DIY instructions, recipes, products, music videos, wedding ideas and more that I might never have come across on my own. For now, Pinterest is my new addiction. It feeds my materialistic side without the requirement of physical space or money.

What do you think about digital hoarding? Is it harmful? Is it the best thing that’s come along in awhile? What’s on your Pinterest boards?

Please comment below and be sure to include your own Pinterest links. I would be glad to check out what you’ve been sharing with others.

And, feel free to follow me on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/carwinlee/.