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Digital Hoarding Can Make Us Feel Just as Stressed and Overwhelmed as Physical Clutter, Research Suggests

Tuesday January 8, 2019. 05:41 PM , from Slashdot
Emerging research on digital hoarding -- a reluctance to get rid of the digital clutter we accumulate through our work and personal lives -- suggests that it can make us feel just as stressed and overwhelmed as physical clutter. From a report: Not to mention the cybersecurity problems it can cause for individuals and businesses and the way it makes finding that one email you need sometimes seem impossible. The term digital hoarding was first used in 2015 in a paper about a man in the Netherlands who took several thousand digital photos each day and spent hours processing them. 'He never used or looked at the pictures he had saved, but was convinced that they would be of use in the future,' wrote the authors.

In a study published earlier this year Neave and his colleagues asked 45 people about how they deal with emails, photos, and other files. The reasons people gave for hanging on to their digital effects varied -- including pure laziness, thinking something might come in handy, anxiety over the idea of deleting anything and even wanting 'ammunition' against someone. The team has used those responses to develop a questionnaire to assess digital hoarding behaviours in the workplace, and have tested it with 203 people who use computers as part of their job. Their findings show that email appears to be a particular problem: among participants, the average inbox had 102 unread and 331 read emails.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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