Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Digital Hoarding Threatens Your Mental Health Life

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Who among us has not been able to delete incoming messages in his email box, or suffers from lack of space on a smartphone or computer due to the amount of photos and videos that exceed the available limit. “Cloud Memory”?

Most experts in behavior and psychology agree that this is not a problem, but when it becomes “digital hoarding”, it can negatively affect a person’s life and can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

What is digital compression?

Hoarding, in its psychological definition, is a disorder characterized by a person’s difficulty in parting with or abandoning possessions. It was previously considered a symptom of mental and behavioral disorder, a mental and behavioral disorder affecting 2% to 4% of the world’s population. .

Digital hoarding is a new version of the disorder related to a person’s electronic belongings, from his text messages to Internet links and all kinds of recorded and photographed material.

With the intrusion of social media into human life and the ability of computer memory and phones to store information without much material cost, a new version of psychological hoarding and the inability to let go of information has emerged, according to UCLA Health.

So a digital hoarder collects mail, images, articles, audio files or any other type of digital content that they think they need to store or use in the future.

However, it does not become a mental health disorder only when it reaches a severe level that interferes with one’s quality of life and debilitates him.

A lonely digital hoarder feels overwhelmed by his chaotic digital life and is too lazy to organize it (Shutterstock)

Digital Hoarding Personality Types

There are many reasons why people hoard in cyberspace, and according to an article published by “S Norton”, the personality types affected by this behavior are classified as:

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1- An avid hoarder

An avid digital hoarder never wants to get rid of their digital clutter. As the title suggests, destroying something creates a strong tension for him towards the future, so he keeps everything because it gives him comfort and control.

2- Obedient hoarder

A compliant digital hoarder is not a willing data hoarder, as workplace norms or organizational structures cause them to keep things to prove their work and achievements.

Mischievous digital hoarders usually have no emotional connection to the digital clutter they own, although it can cause them stress and distress.

3- Separate hoarding

A lonely or isolated digital hoarder doesn’t know what to do with all his digital clutter, he’s not organized in the first place, he feels a lot of stress because of his chaotic digital life and he’s too lazy to organize it.

Negative impact of digital hoarding

S Norton mentioned some negative effects of digital hoarding, including:

  • Reducing hardware performance: Your computer or smartphone has to manage more data and it is more difficult to use it, so it slows down our devices. As these tools are used slowly, this results in less productivity and enthusiasm.
  • High Security Risk: The more data we hold, the more vulnerable our smart devices are to theft during a cyber security incident when they are hacked or as a result of the accumulation of sensitive information and personal content on them. .
  • Decreases productivity and affects mental function: Digital storage can be made easier because the Internet and its algorithms make it easier for us to find things. All we have to do is enter what we want in the search bar and load the content we want, although it is not easy to find all our digital data. So sifting through this mess is futile, and when it comes to the workplace, it’s a waste of time and psychological and mental effort.
  • Stress and Stress: The more data a person stores, the more control they need. If a person is disorganized, he quickly loses control and suffers from stress, which negatively affects psychological and mental health.
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A cluttered desktop is not only as stressful as an untidy physical space, but it can also be stressful when sifting through thousands of files to find what we need.

One study estimates that we waste 55 minutes a day searching for things lost in digital clutter. According to Harper’s Bazaar, this constant stress threatens mental and psychological health.

The more data a person stores, the more they lose control and suffer from stress (Shutterstock)

Seasonal digital cleaning to improve psychological well-being

Just as there are seasons when many people like to rearrange their belongings or household items to start the new period with a fresh breath and a lighter feeling, there is a similar process for digital holdings, which is no less important in achieving psychological peace. And mental clarity, which means digital cleaning can have a real and positive impact when it comes to human well-being.

59% of participants in an American Science study reported positive results from reorganizing their digital files, and described themselves as feeling “productive,” “achieved” and “relaxed” after reducing digital hoards on their various smart devices.

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, because hoarding is often associated with anxiety and insecurity, research shows that addressing the source of these negative feelings can reduce the problem.

Steps to Organize Electronic Clutter

An article published by Harper’s Bazaar suggested practical steps to regulate electronic clutter:

  1. Back up phone photos and videos using services like Flickr and Google Photos to keep content safe and allow you to delete it from your phone.
  2. Delete unused smart apps from time to time.
  3. To prevent unhelpful emails from piling up, unsubscribe from them.
  4. Don’t follow unhelpful people on sites.
  5. Turn off all notifications across smart devices to ease the burden of tracking.
  6. Review filmed and recorded content and keep only the best copies.
  7. Keep your computer desktop clean and free of unused files.
  8. Choose a background that makes you feel calm and happy.
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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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