I’m a digital hoarder

The realization that I’m a digital hoarder kind of slapped me in the face last year when our main DVR started acting up. The thing would literally freeze up several times a day, every single day of the week. Sometimes it would take several long minutes to reboot.

Needless to say, this eventually prompted a call to our cable provider. I say eventually because the problem went on for several months before I bit the bullet and made the call. I hesitated to call because I knew the one and only thing the technician would do was replace the DVR, which meant we would lose all of our recordings. I could not come to grips with this, so we suffered through rebooting every day until it became pretty much unbearable.

Before calling, I tried my best to watch as many of the shows as I could; some which were over a year old. When I realized that I would have to watch almost 90 shows in a very short amount of time, I knew it would be too overwhelming so I called the cable provider and very specifically stated that I only wanted the tech to come out and troubleshoot the issue, not replace the box. Of course I was given no guarantees as to what would be done when said technician arrived. I had a sinking feeling that things would not go the way I planned.

When the tech arrived, he came in the door with a box in his hand. A feeling of dread settled in. I kindly asked, “What’s in the box?” I already knew the answer but hoped against hope that it might be some other miraculous invention to solve my issue and allow me to keep my coveted recordings. The bland answer was, “A new DVR.”

The tech and I went back and forth as to what the root cause of the issue might be and what could be done to resolve it aside from replacing the DVR. He sat down to look at the TV and went straight for my recordings. He sneered and said, “Oh wow, you have 88 recordings. That’s a lot.” No kidding.

I’m slightly embarrassed to say, in the end, I let him leave that day without replacing the DVR. He rebooted the entire system (which is something I had done many times) and told me to give him a call when I was ready to replace it. It took a good 6 months and much complaining from hubby before I finally caved. I promised myself I would not let it get out of hand again.

Sadly, as I right this, we are right at 80 shows again. WTF? How could this possibly have happened again?

Unfortunately, the problem isn’t just isolated to our DVR. My email inboxes take up just as much digital space. Yes, I said inboxes because I have about 7 email accounts, not including work.

One day I sat down to really try to tackle the inbox of one of my most-used accounts and had to shake my head at the fact that I had email that was over 2 years old. It had been opened, but never really read. Most of it was just junk that for whatever reason I never bothered to delete.

I’m really not sure how this digital hoarding problem came about. It’s a far cry from how I keep house. I cannot stand crowded spaces in my home. I hate to have too many tchotchkes sitting around with no real purpose. I much prefer minimalism when it comes to home décor. No cluttered closets, pantries, etc.

So what goes wrong when it comes to the digital world? My best guess is the fact that I’m an information junkie. I thrive on being “in the know.” But constantly craving information comes at a price when there is very little free time to absorb it. Hence, the overcrowded DVR and email inboxes.

I guess the first step to recovery is in admitting you have a problem. As for how to actually solve it? I’m working that. Maybe now is a good time to watch some of those Christmas and holiday specials from last year.