Do you accumulate hundreds or thousands of photos on your mobile, even the ones that look blurry? Do you keep all the WhatsApp conversations or emails as if they were a treasure?
Do you feel bad about deleting memes and jokes? You may be suffering from Digital Diogenes Syndrome, the obsessive accumulation of files. We tell you what it is and how you can combat this new syndrome of the 21st century.
What is Digital Diogenes Syndrome?
60% of people suffer from what is called Digital Diogenes syndrome. This is the digital version of the lifelong Diogenes syndrome and consists of the need to accumulate and store without measuring all kinds of files or multimedia objects such as emails (including SPAM), photographs, documents, videos, images (such as memes or gifs) that are sent by instant messaging applications, WhatsApp or Telegram conversations, etc.
This syndrome causes people who are suffering from it to accumulate digital garbage on their devices and refuse to delete it. It can affect people of any age, gender, and socioeconomic class.
Did you know that on average we receive more than 20 images a day through different WhatsApp groups and approximately 20 emails a day?
Digital garbage is everything that we store on our electronic devices as multimedia files and that can be deleted. Whatsapp, email managers like Gmail, and social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the main sources of digital waste generation.
The accumulation of a large number of digital files causes anxiety in the user who is forced to eliminate them since he thinks that these resources may be needed in the future. To “alleviate” the situation, they prefer to hire more space in the cloud or buy storage devices such as hard drives or memory cards to be able to keep everything.
But this is not all, this accumulation can give rise to obsession and problems in the workplace, for example, when a work cloud is shared, and in the family environment when a computer is used by several members of the household and choose to buy more storage space or when a child or another family member has seen a photograph that they should not have from their mother or father’s mobile.
The Digital Diogenes syndrome is even more reflected when, despite all these complications, the patient feels fear at the idea of deleting files, and emails, emptying the trash or cleaning their mobile phone.
Examples of practices that are considered Diogenes Digital
These are some examples of Digital Diogenes: accumulating two or more identical photographs, saving blurred or badly taken photos, keeping WhatsApp conversations from more than two years ago or emails that are not important such as offers or promotions, storing a large number of memes or series and movies that are never seen.
Symptoms of Diogenes Digitalis Syndrome
Do you have the following symptoms? You may be suffering from Digital Diogenes Syndrome.
- Feeling insurmountable fear of deleting or losing photos, videos or text messages that may be needed
- later;Being unable to decide what works and what doesn’t ;
- Difficulty emptying your email inbox or recycle bin;
- Lack of concentration to perform a task or job;
- Impaired ability to relax and sleep ;
- Feel of violence or anguish if they cannot access their digital content.
How to deal with Digital Diogenes Syndrome?
If you have three or more of the above symptoms, it is time to act as you are suffering from Digital Diogenes syndrome . But do not be alarmed, it has a solution.
The following tips will help you combat and eliminate this dreaded syndrome from your life:
- Put into practice in your life the habit of using the recycling bin at least once a week ;
- Set a limit of files to save and separate them by categories. They can be: work, family, studies and others;
- Keep the recycle bin icon in sight and get rid of that digital waste you don’t consume;
- For mobile files, think about what you’re storing and use a single device to store and organize the content you want to keep.