After the intial wave has crested, the Marie Kondo bug bit me. I wasn’t cleaning out my closet or donating old books off to the Friends of the Library store, I was decluttering my digital persona. Digital hoarding is a very real thing and it is something that I have started to work on. It’s the kind of hoarding that will get you on an episode of “Hoarders,” but it is a serious problem. Does buying a new external hard drive with 8 TBs of free space make the situation better or is it creating another problem down the road that will result in purchasing a new hard drive with 25 TBs of space? A smartly designed hard drive will never be the eye sore that piles and piles of garbage will be, but at some point it’s going to be a problem. At this point in my life, I tend to look at this type of situations through a slightly morbid lens. I always think about whose going to clean this up or get rid of it after I die. Obviously, I have to assume that any person will probably shove all of it into a box and drive off to the nearest electronic waste recycling center, but I want to make it easier for whomever has that job in the future. It should take a person a day or two at max, but anything longer than that makes me feel like an asshole.
Last summer, I deleted all of my old blogs available on blogspot. They live on in some form on the Wayback Machine. I guess my writings on “Laguna Beach” needed to be saved for the ages. It was an easy process. I just clicked on a few buttons and a couple of years of mispellings and stories about my dog disappeared into the digital ether. I’m still working on developing the energy to log back into Tumblr and wipe the slate clean over there. Maybe one day it’ll happen. There’s probably a lot of embarrassing matieral on there, but without a doubt, it can not be as bad as combing through the vast archives of my Twitter account.
Initially, it seemed easy to go through and delete all of the bad takes. I downloaded an app that deleted over 3000 tweets in ten minutes or so. It seemed like it would be smoothing sailing from there. Just fire up the app every morning and watch all of my thoughts from 2009 disappear. It wasn’t quite meant to be. I ended up having search year by year, month by month to delete all of the old tweets. That is the ultimate punishment for using Twitter too much. I had to look at all of my inane thoughts from the spring of 2015 to June 2008. My hands and elbows became sore from having to delete an array of tweets about USC quaterback Mark Sanchez, baseball, and, Parks & Recreation. I had to face the fact that at some point, I was fully invested in Gallery Girls and Project Runway. I looked at horror at this bizzare period where I would use the term “kiddo” when messaging with a friend. I wanted to go back in time and do two things: punch the old version of my self and most importantly, tell the old me to shut the fuck up. Back in 2009, I wasn’t thinking about digital hoarding and minimalsim, I thought Twitter was a service where I virtually checked in with the world and let them know that I saw a woman that looked like Ellen Page at Fresh & Easy and that I was later on going to a donut place in San Pedro. None of this deserves to live on in easily search-able format. I don’t want to have a record of my misguided attempt to show that I’ve changed as a person to an former partner because I started to watch soccer. I ended up loving the sport and I now know that wasn’t a good sign of emotional growth and development. None of this deserves to live longer than a three to six month span. Not everything needs to stay on line for more than a day or two. If a Wells related screen cap doesn’t get a like for the two or three people that the joke was for, then delete it the next morning or just a couple of weeks to get in one of those grand sweep deletions. I don’t want to have a permanet record of when my BlackPink fandom began. I just want it to be some hazy memrory like that month where I watched nothing but Batsu Game comps on YouTube (Pie Hell and 24 Hour Tag are still two of the best things I’ve ever seen). It just makes sense to get a jump on combating digital hoarding because such a problem where you have to delete ten thousand tweets by hand.