The curse of information hoarding

I close down four Twitter accounts.

I no longer want to be an internet squirrel hording useless information I will never use.

I am no longer an internet squirrel hoarding useless information I will never use.

As Autumn slowly transforms into Winter the squirrels in my local park busy gathering the abundant nuts for the hungry season.  A squirrel will find a nut, then hoards it by burying it in the ground.  It is a chaotic process as squirrels find each others hidden nut hoard and bury the nuts in a new location, a process that predictably results in some nuts being forgotten and thus enjoying the blessing of growing into trees thanks to the squirrels activities.

Survival activity

Hoarding is a survival activity, the difference between if a squirrel lives or dies in the British winter.  Many people need to hoard rubbish or clutter because the individual is anxious through some insecurity.  In any emergency people empty shop shelves and hoard their food.  Banks during the Credit Crisis hoarded their money so that credit for business and resident dried up.

Internet information hoarding

I exchanged comment with a reader of Liberated Way on why there is inertia on internet forums, the lack of activity of thousands of registered members resulting in internet graveyards.  The reader suggested that many internet sites were places where people hoarded information rather than participated in dynamic interaction.  It is apparent that rather than using the internet as a tool of interaction, many people are like squirrels and hoard information.  This is a problem I experienced with my bookmarks, I hoarded hundreds of links to interesting internet information, I was becoming an internet squirrel cluttering up my browser with a confusing pile of information links.

Nature wastes nothing

Nature is dynamic, nature wastes nothing.  Either squirrels will eat the buried hoard of nuts, or other living things will devour the nuts, or the nuts will grow into trees.  Only amongst humanity can clutter gather that will never be used.  Knowledge is like nuts, use information, or it is useless junk.

I avoid internet content aggregators

One of the dislikes I have of Facebook, Google +, Yahoo or LinkedIn was they are content aggregators, dustbins of collected information nobody will ever use, an abyss where billions of internet users hoarded useless and dead information.  My position is that either a thing is useful or I eliminate it, thus this is one of the reasons I avoid the content aggregators.

I close 4 Twitter accounts

My attention turned to Twitter.  I closed down four Twitter accounts today, including the Liberated Way Twitter account, leaving only my business Twitter account active.  My business Twitter account attracts and coördinates my business activities, thus it is useful, but to act like a squirrel dumping junk on my Twitter account which few will read is a waste of my life.  The loss of the Liberated Way Twitter feed resulted in the immediate loss of 83 followers to my blog.


My approach to life is simplicity and liberty free of junk.  I am no longer an internet squirrel.


24 responses to “The curse of information hoarding

  1. Never thought of that. I have so many emails I never check. Bookmarks I never return to. Not to mention information I may need later so I copy and paste in Microsoft word files. Every now and then I do try to organize them but really I won’t need them and if I do I can always Google. 🙂

  2. I am ridiculously guilty of this. I tried a couple months ago to ‘get rid’ of some unused emails by forwarding them into one that I do use. I guess that I didn’t really ‘get rid’ of them completely though and I really should..I should sit down and completely purge all of that ‘stuff’ so that I don’t have worthless, hoarded information. It’s kind of like cleaning out old clothes. If you haven’t needed it in the past 6 months, get rid of it.

  3. That explains why I lost a follower yesterday. I only use my Twits acct to notify when I post, rarely I find a link that it useful, but when I do, I save it, use it, delete it. I get so many followers who come and go when I don’t follow back. If a follower has CEO, social media, etc I never return the follow, that’s not why I have an acct.


  4. Interesting… today I’ve been severing links with facebooks groups I don’t interact with and stopped my e-mails from blogs I’ve lost interest in. Autumn is a time for severing what we don’t need like a tree losing leaves…

    • Using Autumn as a way of clearing useless junk is a good philosophy. I have been stepping up my cull of junk as I move towards the Winter Solstice, a slow but rewarding process.

  5. This is interesting Alex.. I actually started my blog as a way of storing photos I’d taken and for the kids to see… I lost all of my pictures of family history in a flood in 2001.. and I felt this way I didn’t have to store them all but would have a history of what I’d snapped… somehow others got to find them and now it is a total enjoyment of interaction for me… I have a linkedin account as most of my business contacts are found there.. I’m on FB but really just to keep up with friends all over and again on Google + for business reasons… twitter account is only really used for my blog and business future… I find your article interesting and your reasons for your feelings… i suppose we all have differing thoughts on these sites…

    • All those sites (example Twitter) are tools, how they are used makes them worthwhile or not. You seem to use your internet tools intelligently, but many use the internet mindlessly as a dumping ground of information they will never use. Information clutter is as toxic as a room of useless clutter.

  6. I have avoided all social media with the exception of Facebook where my son and wife share with me things they and my granddaughter do since it’s not often I get to see them. I also have Skype which makes it easier for the 2 year old to have contact with me. Twitter I have never used nor do I have any idea how to do so. I have been hearing people in conversations using “hashtag” followed by a word. This reminds me of how lol and other short abbreviations became popular but to me they sound strange in the context of a conversation. Has social media removed the knowledge of how to converse in real life?

    • Social media and cellphones have destroyed the art of communication in real life.

      • Not truer words have been said about this. 140 characters is not conversation; I’m not sure if that is communication (where is the commune, where is the community in 140 characters?). Social media and cellphones can be useful tools, but they can also disconnect humans from one another if they are used in substitution of actual (yes, dynamic!) interaction and engagement. Ultimately, through the screen, we are really engaging with the screen and not the other person. Yes, we can find friends and like-minded people on the internet, but unless we are trying to break through that screen to the reality of that person (to the human being sitting at the keyboard typing away), then have we really connected? Yes, there is an art to communication and conversation. The feedback, the reciprocation of talking to another human being who is not interrupted constantly by a machine (i.e., texting, cellphone ringing, etc). We have lost something by replacing ourselves with avatars and what not. It seems like we have built a new ego, only one that is interchangable; a permanent state of Hallowe’en.

      • Sadly the self has become the slave of technology, rather its master.

      • They sure have. Who would have thought advances in technology would lead to illiterate people.

      • This is an interesting paradox!

  7. Agree to an extent, Alex. “Social media and cellphones have destroyed the art of communication in real life.” I do my best to shy away from hyperbole because life is a grayscale. While I agree that technology – cell phones especially – has hampered the art of real-life communication, the benefits I’ve found are stunning.

    I think the real issue with technology is that it induces us to always be “on.” We’re always connected, we’re always commenting, liking, tweeting, posting. So really, how do we know that the art of real-life communication existed before the Internet, and that social media and cell phones aren’t simply drawing out the worst in human nature that already existed? Just a thought.

    • Technology are only tools, and the tool is as only as good as the user. I could use this laptop to surf the internet reading the news all day, but this is a bad use of the tool, I instead use this tool for running my business.

  8. This is an interesting post, and it’s something I hadn’t really thought about — consider all the servers out there in data centers, running (using power) to keep this useless data accessible. What a waste of resources.

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