Is your email inbox jammed up with unread emails? You’re definitely not the only one hesitant to click delete. Research shows that digital hoarding - a type of hoarding that involves collecting and having a hard time parting with excessive amounts of digital material - is a getting to be a problem in the U.S., as well as other places.
- The average American has at least 40 apps on their phone, but uses less than half of them.
- Millions of Americans also have over 1000 unread emails in their inboxes.
- About 60% of Americans never delete photos or videos from their devices.
Dr Darshana Sedera is the director of the Digital Enterprise Lab at Southern Cross University in Australia, has published several papers on digital hoarding and his research shows people tend to collect and store more digital content as they use more social media platforms. His team also finds a strong link between the number of storage platforms people use, like Google Drive & iCloud, and an increase in digital hoarding.
And not letting go of all that digital information has some negative mental health consequences. Sedera explains, “When one suffers from the symptoms of digital hoarding - constant acquisition, difficulty of discarding, clutter propensity - there is a strong likelihood that he or she will experience adverse mental or psychological conditions.”