Social media is infuriating for me lately.
I try really hard not to spend all my time online and this is good in that I have fulfilling hobbies and I do my best at my interactions with other people. But I’m going to be hitting my mid-30s soon which means I will be behind on the times and uncool no matter what.
Which is truly not all that different from any of my earlier years.
Something I’ve seen regularly online, especially on Twitter is the declaration of “My toxic trait is-” and then something slightly self-deprecating but also truly funny and relatable. I’m judging its relatability by the number of retweets and likes and comments on it, of course, because hoo boy, I have seen some doozies pop up with that intro that I honestly wonder if they’re telling their therapist the same stuff.
I’ve yet to figure out a good one for myself.
Then, I realized what my toxic trait is. It’s information hoarding.
I know, it doesn’t seem like this is a toxic trait, but I just spent three hours yesterday clearing out my inbox of all these newsletters that I subscribed to but never read and I can’t bear to delete them for some reason. I started at over 2000 emails and now I’m down to 323. But those newsletters which I likely won’t read?
I had to move them all into a folder instead.
My Google Drive is terrifying. I have entire folders dedicated to stuff I haven’t looked at in years, obscure hobbies and recipes for food I don’t even like or can’t eat.
Then there are the saved pictures and videos on Instagram and Facebook. Or the tweets I favourite on Twitter in the hopes of seeing them again. I even downloaded this app called Pocket to try to cut down on the sheer amount of articles I never seemed to get around to reading and now there’s thousands I plan on getting around to.
I’ve been through so many purges. I’ve whittled down the number of items I owned so many times. I have read through Marie Kondo’s work often and done work on a full house gleefully. I’ve pruned and preened among all the bags of stuff I’m getting rid of and I try to avoid bringing in anything that does not give me real joy.
I have a capsule wardrobe for heck’s sake.
Even my bookshelves have been attacked with vigour. I know. Don’t judge me.
But when it comes to older files or notes from classes or even the obscene amount of tabs open on my browser (it’s a lot) I can’t seem to bring myself to stop hoarding the information, sure that I will need it someday.
My name is Stephanie, and my toxic trait is information hoarding.