The message count on my e-mail inbox, at this very moment, reads 32,818.

I’m not sure how many of those are read and how many are unread, I have no idea how it got so out of control, and I am not sure where to find the time to change it. Every time I see someone e-brag about how refreshed they are at having cleaned out their inbox I roll my eyes, but part of me is a tad jealous. I’m too far gone for that…I’m officially an e-hoarder.

A lot of those e-mails are unopened  junk, but  at some point I got in the habit of holding on to every e-mail I receive, just in case, and setting old g-chats aside for posterity’s sake. Do I need all of them? No. But could I possibly need a few of them someday? Of course!

The e-hoarding hasn’t stopped there. The bookmarks tab on my Firefox browser was so crowded that I switched to Chrome to avoid it, only to end up with that browser looking like the bin at a bargain basement sale: any and every random thing that suited my fancy and could one day be useful all in one spot. So I cleared off my old Firefox and started adding links that fuel my interests there again. Rinse and repeat.

When Pinterest launched, I instantly knew it was the gift and the curse all in one. The site lets you pin photos and links to a virtual pin board and share them with people. Only a few months into using the site I’m pleased with my collections of random photos and recipes and love that I can save all of this stuff without having to consume space on my hard drive.  No fuss, no muss, virtual hoarding at its finest.

The inconvenience of struggling with dozens of folders filled with photos and documents on your personal hard drive aside, tech experts consider hogging server space a form of waste because the energy it takes to virtually store those files adds up and harms the environment. I do feel the tiniest bit guilty about not being as green as I should be, but above all else I worry that e-hoarding is just the first step to real hoarding. My home isn’t a hoarder-level of cluttered, but nobody wants to end up one of those unhinged women on A&E’s Hoarders living with hundreds of cats and unable to find her own toilet. The easy answer is to clean all of that crap out, but the task is so daunting that it doesn’t even seem like an option. What to do?

Are you an e-hoarder and does it bother you? How do you keep your virtual world streamlined?

 

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  • binks

    No, i am a neat freak even via Internet but my mom’s email count is out of control like hello there is a delete option for a reason.. grr

  • angel

    This is me!!! Is there any way to do a massive deletion of an overstuffed email account? Going through it one by one takes too much time and accomplishes little.