Saving things is a part of the human experience. We are a species that collects, enjoys, and loves objects for sentimental reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. Some people who collect all kinds of electronics, gizmos and gadgets have what psychologist Dr. Randy Frost calls ‘object-sensuality’ in his book Stuff . Object-sensuality is the ability to experience objects sensually in rich detail – their precision, craftsmanship, and weight and size. According to Dr. Frost, this ability may indicate a special form of creativity and an appreciation of aesthetics,even the aesthetics of machines. “The very meaning of objects expands with the sensory experience of them”, notes Dr. Frost. Long ago I write about this kind of phenomena in my book Conquering Chronic Disorganization. Object sensuality and collecting is fine but a line can be crossed into a more negative form of technohoarding under the following circumstances:
SERIOUS TECHNOHOARDING OCCURS WHEN:
- The acquisition of and failure to discard useless, non-collectible and obsolete electronics clutters up living spaces and impedes normal activities such as cleaning, cooking and sleeping.
- The impulse to purchase electronics is uncontrollable and results in debt or diversion of money from necessities.
- A preoccupation with internet, computer, or electronics disrupts family relations, work obligations and sleep.
If you are someone who technohoards and you want to change, try this:
* Ask yourself what need is fulfilled by being amidst all the clutter. It could be the need for seclusion, control of your environment, or a need to feel protected and secure. Machines can do this for you. People, well, now that’s a little messier. Confront your needs and see if you can get them fulfilled more constructively.
* Make room for the future. Clutter keeps us stuck in the present and in the past.
* Think of yourself as someone who deserves to be picky, selective and more discerning about how you choose to spend your time, money, effort and space.
* Got technohoarding real bad? Contact the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, www.ICD.com for a professional organizer specially trained in hoarding behaviors.