Packrats in the Digital Age

Both sides of my family have packrat tendencies. Between cleaning out my grandmother's trailer when she moved to Hawaii and what I saw up at my dad's place this year, I figure if I don't make a conscious effort to keep things in-line, I'll end up dying like the Collyer Brothers did. Ok, maybe I'm not that bad, but it's still a reality I don't want to approach.

Meanwhile, in the digital age, it is trivial to accumulate large quantities of stuff. Thousands of pictures, music files, movies, applications, and who knows what else. Furthermore, if you use social networks, you may be posting data in lots of places. I've lost count of the number of places various bits of my digital debris have been posted and hosted.

I suppose the good news is that if you want to keep all that information, it won't create a Collyer Brothers-like problem in the physical world. Compared to the space it would take to keep stacks and stacks of newspapers, a hard drive or two takes up almost no space at all.

Of course, if you actually want to find anything in this mountain of information—or attempt to manage it in any way—you've got a problem. I guess digitizing everything doesn't solve that problem, does it?