The insidiousness comes because it is largely invisible … only your computer and back up disks know for sure how much you are hoarding. Have you ever gone to a site and been sucked in … clicking on links within links within links until the sun sets and rises again and you were totally oblivious to it? Your brain also knows how much there is … and could be rebelling in the form of body aches, headaches, etc.
When I was doing the research on hoarding in November for my client, I came across this fascinating article from Information Hoarding: The Need to Know and Remember by psychologist By Renae M. Reinardy:
"Cyber-clutter can occur in individuals who do not have visible clutter in their home or work-place but have thousands of pieces of information saved on the computer or on CDs. Many information hoarders also get stuck in life because they are still gathering information on what they want to do, but never achieve the sense of knowing needed to actually make the decision to do what they desire."
Are you an information hoarder? Are you aware of how much time and energy goes into gathering, compiling and maintaining that information? Does it make you feel guilty when you realize you have not acted on much of it? What are you not doing because you don’t have time … time that was used up by this obsession?
A possible solution: step away from the computer. Unplug the TV and radio. Unsubscribe from the newspaper. As I tell my clients: if you found it once, you will find it when you need it … later if ever. Make a choice: does it serve your purpose right now. If yes, act on it now. If no, let it go. Yeah, right … sigh … easier said than done …