Picture Hoarding: Our New Digital Addiction

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Published February 26, 2020
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The Montclarion
Brian Rooney | The Montclarion

Picture hoarding has recently surfaced as a new term in the Urban Dictionary. When I first heard the term I was taken aback and thought that whoever said it had made it up. After doing some research however, I have found that this term is legitimate and applies to almost everyone I know.

According to Urban Dictionary, a picture hoarder is defined as someone “who enjoys taking pictures of anything and everything. These people don’t always like the pictures they take and won’t always put them out on a social network to be seen by everyone, but they will keep them anyway for long periods of time simply for the memories.”

After having read that, I’m sure most people immediately thought of someone who fits that description. We all know that one person who feels that it is necessary to take a photo of their meal or a photo of every sunset they encounter.

Upon discovering this term, I started to realize that most people who fall under this definition are usually the ones that aren’t living in the moment. They simply take photos just because they have the capability to do so.

Now this isn’t to say that every person who does this won’t look through their photos and relive their adventures, but the likelihood of that happening is slim to none.

One example that came directly to mind was the popularity of Snapchat and the memories feature that it offers. I can personally say that I’m a sucker for Snapchat memories and enjoy waking up to them in the morning.

However in my personal experience, I delete memories of people that are no longer in my life like ex-boyfriends and friends who I no longer speak to. Granted it is always nice to reminisce about friends and places you’ve visited with them, but there’s a more simple way to hold onto those memories.

My advice is to go old school and print out these photos. You can make a mini time capsule out of an old shoebox and put all your old photos, ticket stubs, letters and flash drives with a copy of your videos inside. That way you can still hold onto those memories but without the need to have to carry around all those pictures.

Seeing those flashback memories on Snapchat of an ex can also trigger negative emotions that can be difficult to relive. Do yourself a favor and stop hoarding those pictures that contribute to your emotional baggage and start living your life in the present, enjoying each moment through your own eyes rather than through the lens of a camera.

Dive into your Snapchat memories and purge the saved pictures and videos of those people no longer in your life. Start living in the present. Try going one full day without taking a picture and saving it for no reason other than to view it as a Snapchat memory within a year.

Instead, start making mental notes about the small details that bring you moments of joy in your everyday life.

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