12 April 2012

Hoarding Goes Digital



A recent Wall Street article on digital hoarding kind of struck home.  When the kids were little, I held onto everything.  I was always envisioning some request coming home from school for art materials or a school project where the kids would need something I’d saved.  I still have a lot in my attic (I think the roots are leaving home for my 1st full time job with not much more than a shoe box of memorabilia, a few clothes and some college apartment cast-offs & wishing I had more) though I have at least gotten rid of the potential art supplies.

Unfortunately, as a genealogist, I have now found a new “focus” for my hoarding (books, documents, resource CDs and more as well as what is digitally stored on my computer) and I am working very hard to control these impulses ...

In the mentioned article,

“Mark Carter concedes that he's a digital hoarder.

He estimates he has 24,000 MP3 files, 4,000 digital books, 2,000 CDs, 3,000 family photos saved on DVDs and at least 1,300 saved emails, including some from 20 years ago. "They're great memory aids," says the 42-year-old inventory manager at the Wal-Mart in Bloomington, Ill.

It's not as messy or dangerous as hoarding clothing, rotten food or live animals, but "digital hoarding" may have some of the same psychological roots. Melinda Beck explains on Lunch Break.

"I save these things mainly because I worry they may vanish from the Net or that I'll want them sometime when I'm away from my Internet connection," he says...”

Read the full article and also check out the accompanying video clip (with Melinda Beck).

Are you a digital genealogy hoarder?  Is so, why do you think you are? 

Do genealogists necessarily have to become digital hoarders? Yes or No and why?





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