I have 1127 songs in my iTunes Music library. 326 of these songs I have never listened to. 737 songs I have listened to twice at most. I’m not really a background music person. But I resist deleting them. I can’t even imagine a future where I listen to some of this music, yet Time Machine faithfully backs them up, twenty four times a day.
This same scenario plays itself out with my photos, my videos, and my documents. I have dozens of videos of my son, hundreds of documents, thousands of photos. And I can’t bear to delete anything, even the bad or worthless ones.
Gmail is another culprit, with ever increasing storage, I never need to delete an email again, not even the short note from The Husband telling me he’s going to be five minutes late picking me up tonight. I will never need that email again, but I keep it all the same.
Why? Why do I do this? I know data storage capacity doubles or something every year, it’s increasing enough that I don’t need to conserve hard drive space, enough that I don’t need to delete anything. But not needing to delete anything is really a terrible case for keeping everything! Storage space may be increasing exponentially, but the quality of my data is not. It’s like looking for pearls in mud, the volume of the mud is increasing hourly, but I’m lucky to add a new pearl to the puddle once a week. A song I really love, a great photo of my son, an actually insightful blog post.
I’m drowning in data. Really I’m lucky I can find stuff these days. In fact, that I can find anything is amazing if I think about it.
I’ve tried every organization technique under the sun. And none of them have helped, because I simply can’t get over this tendency to packratism. I need to learn to throw things away.