Sometimes life is dull, so to jazz things up, you use your imagination and fabricate. Such is the case in this news segment, wherein reporters and a psychologist label some dude with a bunch of computers an e-hoarder. The horror.
Floridian Larry Fischer has six computers, a laptop, a desktop and a server. A couple are just lying around, unplugged, fallow. He doesn’t like to delete email. His desktop is messy. He doesn’t throw away the old computers, because he doesn’t want to get rid of the files on them. “He’s what you might call,” the horribly concerned voiceover guys laments, “an e-hoarder”. Yes, you might. You might call him Captain Banana Cakes, or Sith Lord Pumpkin Pie. You might call just call him Larry. You might call him whatever you want, news show!
Except really, is Larry that different from us? Sure, he’s got some dusty old computers lying around. And he accumulates crap on them. He has 3552 emails in his Gmail account! MY GOD. Except, I have 13,835. Am I also mentally ill? Nope! We both just use an email service with huge amounts of free storage – and computers built in the last half decade – which don’t give you any incentive to delete things. I have homework study sheets from 10th grade, history reports from fifth grade, countless stupid GIFs, a giant folder on my desktop of bookmarked articles I haven’t gotten a chance to read yet – do I deserve to have a psychologist question my ability to make decisions, like Larry? No. I rarely empty my trash either – because who cares?
Some people are computer neat freaks. Anal desktop groomers. Meticulous folder hierarchy barons. And that’s fine!
But some of us just don’t give a shit, and pile our stuff into a hodgepodge of folders and subfolders, ad infinitum, because our hard drives are made so damn big that there’s no reason not to. The difference between having 605 “e” things in my trash because I still have over 60 gigs of hard drive space left, and having an overflowing trash can in my apartment, are immense. This isn’t hoarding. It’s just tech letting us be careless with ourselves.
Larry might be a slob. He might be lazy. But putting him on the same plane as those who have TIME magazine issues dating back to the Johnson administration and a garage full of hissing, urine-drenched cats is silly. There are probably people out there with seriously obsessive compulsive problems that manifest themselves digitally. But at worst, Larry’s a desktop slob. As am I, and probably some of you. So let’s cut Larry some slack. [via The Awl]