Virtual Hording

Wow, sometimes a message comes to us at just the right time! Here I was congratulating myself with the idea that I was conquering my squirreling tendencies that turn me into a paper pack rat by the use of scanning and bookmarking. Along comes an email that suggests that I’m doing myself a disservice!

As the product of two intellectual parents who are a twin-engined archival force, I’ve been known to have my own clipping, saving, and sometimes filing mania. I recently had been patting myself on the back for the discovery that I could convince myself to part with some papers and stuff that I’d been collecting if I scanned them for future reference. All well and good, but it does then lead to soft-copy file explosion, which is a little less annoying to the eye, and easily sorted and retrieve from with search functions.

Recently, however, I’ve become prey to a tendency to book mark sites for future reference like crazy. Another kind of collecting. I do tend to organize my bookmarks, but I think I’ve gotten into a new danger area. This suspicion was confirmed today when I read the daily email from the Messies Anonymous group…pasted below. Worth chewing on, and then maybe a little info diet discipline?


Hooked on Information? Information
gives some of us a feeling of excitement. That’s why
we love magazines, newspapers, and books. We
use time and energy going through magazines and
newspapers, clipping as we go,. We use space storing them.
But it doesn’t stop with papers. The desire for
information drives us to stay on the computer looking up
more to learn. Sometimes we print it and then we have to
deal with the printed pages. In addition, wanting to know
more keeps us glued to our television sets.
The search for information feels exciting initially.
But it begins to drag us into uncontrollable messes. After a
while, we realize we are losing control over ourselves and
that becomes frightening.
Are you willing to get the information monkey on your back?

Would you be seriously willing to lessen or stop
pursuing information if it would improve the quality of your
That might mean being willing to let go of the information urge. It
might mean giving up magazine articles, taking a whole different
approach to computer use, avoiding informative shows on TV. It might
mean abandoning the urge to cut out articles on important subjects for
yourself or others. Can you do it? Would it help you if you could?”

Many thanks to the for her insight!

Post Script…stumbling and bumbling through the info sent by the above newsletter, I found a similar article CHRONIC DISORGANIZATION AND INFOMANIA, which indicates that many chronically disorganized people “care passionately about knowing things, being up on things, and not letting any information pass by. This kind of infomania is especially pernicious in a world of unlimited information brought to us by search engines, blogs, wikis, forums, social networks, RSS feeds, the traditional Internet and other media. ” Amen to that.  Now that we know the problem, it’s solutions to the problem we seek.  I think Zen Buddhism may have a hint of a cure.  Curious how others cope.  Drop me a line if you have any ideas on how to reduce this noise.

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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