Dozens of books and posts have been written to help us declutter our houses, and we are all familiar with the basic rule: “If you haven’t used it for a year, get rid of it”.

What about the surge of another form of hoarding, digital hoarding? Raise your hand if you keep saving articles to be read, and videos to be watched at a better time, if you open so many tabs at once that you forget what you were initially looking for, or if you ever found yourself downloading something that was already on your computer.

The excitement of discovery, the fear of missing out (FoMO, here we are!), the soothing effect of knowing that plenty of stuff is waiting for us, and yes, we’ll find the time to go through it…all this blinds us from seeing the reality: we are great in accumulating information, less great in turning it into something that we can actually consume and use.

Looking at the pile of input we’ve carefully hoarded, two reactions often emerge: either we are energized by the delight of infinite possibilities, or we detect a subtle feeling of frustration and guilt, swamped in an eternal struggle to catch up.

Next time you contemplate your treasure trove of digital stuff, pay attention to how you feel about it. Then ask yourself: So, what’s next?

First, watch this video recently published by The New Yorker.