Digital Clutter


If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you would have learned about my upgrade to a 1 terabyte hard drive.  A terabyte is a massive amount of data; so massive that one may never need to delete any old email messages for an entire lifetime.  My father is notorious for this kind of behavior.  If you ever go into his computer room, he has a massive archive of disks and CD’s filled with old email messages, old photographs, and most of all, Microsoft Word documents dating back to the first day Microsoft Word became a reality.  My mom does this as well, but she stores all of her content on her computer (hopefully she makes frequent backups).  I call this digital clutter.

Digital clutter is the new computerized version of papers and other things that we collect and save for no other reason than to occupy space, because storage is getting so increasingly massive that it really doesn’t matter anymore.  When I first started using a computer, in the early 80’s, it was a whole different ball game as storage was very limited, and also very expensive.  Folks routinely looked for unnecessary files on their computer to delete so they could free-up storage space.

Today, storage space keeps growing, and is getting less and less expensive.  Folks are holding onto everything, because by the time they start filling up whatever storage medium they use, the data will inevitably migrate to a larger storage allocation, and the data will theoretically never come close to filling the storage completely. I’ve heard that Google Mail constantly adds storage space to user accounts, but I have yet to use it because I lease an entire server for my email, as well as my website.  So as far as I’m concerned, if I continue to send and receive email at the same rate I am now, I probably won’t fill my server for 100 years, if I live that long.  I however am very old school, and conserve my storage and bandwidth as much as possible (unlike most other people), much to the delight of my web host.

It’s my opinion that the Internet is getting filled with clutter.  Search engines were developed to ease in the search, and to narrow-in on what people are looking for.  Unfortunately, with the number of blogs being written on the Internet by all kinds of people, even those with nothing interesting or useful to contribute, the Internet is getting more and more cluttered.  Sooner or later, someone will have to come up with a solution to the clutter, such as a search engine that somehow filters-out the clutter.  Supposedly, search engine developers have been working on cutting through the clutter, but I haven’t come across any proof that their method works.

What’s the moral of this story?  It’s okay to fill-up your storage quota with useless data if you must, but please do us all a favor and stop wasting everyone’s time by keeping your useless crap off the Internet.

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