The thought of becoming a hoarder is pretty terrifying, especially with the newly publicized lives of people on TV with real-life obsessive compulsive tendencies to collect anything and everything in sight. Many people watching these shows wonder how anyone could allow their lives to get to this point and why it’s so difficult to part with the papers, objects, or whatever else they have lying around the house. Little known fact is that people can become secret compulsive hoarders, and the proof is on their computers.
Distributed Data Disorder (DDD) is an ailment associated with online storage where, similar to hoarding, you have an extraordinary amount of data stored through online storage services, emails, social media sites, etc. This disorder goes beyond file management and includes contacts, pictures, videos, calendars, music, and other types of files.
Say you have a Facebook account with 1,000 images stored, a Flickr account with 800, a Picassa account with 1200 and Google+ with 400. This data stored over four different online storage services puts you in the category of a person suffering from DDD.
The symptoms of Distributed Data Disorder are pretty simple: hoarding online storage, fractured mobile indexes, performance hits on your primary system, and not remembering where all of your files are.
Since online storage is pretty much unlimited, people always want more of it and don’t really consider how much data their storing over different networks. Most people have a collection of USB drives, accounts with Dropbox, GoogleDrive, iTunes and other data storage programs to allow for the most convenient and secure storage centers, related to what you’re storing.
Losing file memory is pretty easy when you’re storing your files in the cloud. This is because as opposed to the files on your desktop, files in the cloud are not indexed and cannot be searched through easily. Forgetting what you name something is common and if you don’t remember, chances are your file is going to remain lost in the cloud until you do.
If you have DDD, you will probably notice slight glitches with the performance of your primary system. Perhaps your synchronized apps freeze momentarily or have an emergency shut down. You can blame your compulsive cloud usage for these performance hits, due to storage overload.
As difficult as it may be, those suffering from DDD must overcome this compulsion and be reminded of what it feels like to purge their data. While holding onto a file from 12 years ago might be fun to go back and look at, what is it really doing for you? Saving files that have no sentimental value and are only crowding your storage and need to be deleted.
Just as people do on the reality TV shows, online storage hoarders needs to accept the fact that they’re doing something bad and turn it into a positive experience. In order to do this, the random, long-forgotten, junk files need to be sifted through and deleted.
If you have 20,000 files, make a goal to go through at least 100 a week and delete at least 50 each time. By doing this, you’ll drastically cut down the amount of files you have in your cloud storage and will free yourself from your disorder. Once you’ve purged more than half of your files, it’s important to keep in mind that while you’ve gotten through a lot, there’s still a lot you could get rid of. Once you start adding on again, make sure you go back and continue deleting older, non-important documents. This way you can at least keep a tolerable amount of files and not be weighed down by digital hoarding.