America has a massive digital hoarding problem

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America is a nation of “digital hoarders” with two in every five respondents in a recent survey failing to rid themselves of a host of digital stuff, according to new research.

From libraries of purchased movies and music to saving decade-old photos, a new survey of 2,000 Americans by Western Digital suggests that many Americans are trapped in a “digital chaos.”

Results showed 40 percent of those polled said they hoard things they don’t need or rarely access on their phones – with useless apps and unneeded photos the most common things clogging devices.

Fifty-six percent say they have run their device completely to storage capacity and received a warning message. A further 62 percent have had to delete old files in order to be able to take new photos.

In fact, the link between hoarding and stress is arguably strong — three in four of those with full devices admits getting a warning that their electronic device is running out of space is a source of anxiety for them.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed even admit to feeling anxious at the thought of losing or being away from their phone for too long.

Our attachment to our phones is strong yet the phone users estimate, on average, that over a quarter of their phone storage (27 percent) is taken up by completely unnecessary or unused things.

“While our devices do become clogged with some unused apps and files, much of our digital chaos anxiety comes from just the very thought of trying to organize and manage all of the valued photos, videos and music that we not only want to access, but also make sure we never lose,” said Jim Welsh, a senior vice president at Western Digital. “And with this digital content spread across multiple devices, it’s no small challenge to find and enjoy all the collections and memories we’ve captured.”

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