Hoarding is something I’ve always been ridiculously good at (see: overachieving at things you shouldn’t really be proud of) let’s call it an easy, relatively low maintenance hobby of mine. But it’s not just me. We all do it – we hoard to fill gaps, to keep ‘just in case’, to maintain memories; but what is it that we’re actually keeping when it’s not a physical object? Until I deleted my tinder account for the first time a few months ago, something I’ve been active on (and very off) since I was 19 (oh god) the extent of my emotional hoarding had never fully actualised itself in my mind. It’s not that I connected any great sentiment to the app, or the people within it – I just couldn’t bring myself to deleting the actual account.
Short answer is, I still can’t put my finger on it – it’s like I couldn’t reconcile myself to the fact that I would just disappear from these peoples conversations without them even knowing why. I mean how rude of me to do that to these strangers who I know nothing about and have no physical link to. It’s an incredibly strange thing to actually sit and think about (and obviously I have way too much spare time on my hands), but regardless I had still not done it… effectively hoarding all of these matches. Some people hoard receipts and apparently I hoard strangers. In the bigger picture – matches that were still sitting in the app from when I first created my account 4 odd years ago had also done the same thing, probably not on such a conscious level as this (because I just love to think about these things #woke) but rather just deleted the app without giving two thoughts to whether they should delete their actual profile or not. Come to think of it, it’s probably because they aren’t chronic over thinkers such as I. So what was the big deal? After I deleted the account I discovered first hand what it was that was keeping me from taking the plunge and erasing myself from dating media.
Now I delete that thing with the frequency of my mood swings when I’m hungry. It’s currently in the ‘deleted’ phase on my phone – and have consciously decided to keep it that way forever – no longer taking up memory or the valuable time I ( really don’t) have at my disposal. Leaving more space and hours for me to do important things; like lying on my bed in a towel for an hour post-shower staring at the ceiling. After (over)thinking about this little hoarding problem of mine for some time, I decided to take a look at all other facets of my life to see what else I was squirrelling away for a rainy day (and by rainy day I mean never) purely to distract myself with things other than the fact I use(d) Tinder so often, seeing as I just looove to talk (complain) about it.
So, other than the shameful admission of my dating media presence – which again, is no longer JUST SAYING – I have discovered myself to be the kind of person that literally doesn’t get rid of anything from their phone. You know the saying ‘an elephant never forgets’? In this situation I am the elephant. And it’s not because I have some great memory or anything (I do though) it’s because I literally have everything vaulted in my hand-held computer device ready for me to draw upon at my leisure – gotta love the cloud. After scrolling through my 11 odd thousand pictures and having myself a merry old trip down memory lane I stopped short in my tracks and thought how healthy is this? I’m carrying around the last 6-ish years of my life; photos, conversations, phone numbers et al. The world suddenly felt very claustrophobic, and very crammed into one small hand-held space as I thought back on those last 6 years, and you know what always comes out first? Pain.
Don’t think for one second that I don’t love my life, nor that I haven’t been living an incredible one at that, but amongst all of the good there needs to be bad (Yin and Yang sound familiar?) in order to keep balance. However, no matter how wonderful a life you may lead it’s always the negatives that seem to find their way into the light first. So instead of dwelling, like I would have done just one year prior to now, you know what I did?
I deleted everything. Cue Drama Queen.
Okay so I didn’t delete everything, but if put into terms of ratio it was 80:20 deletion and damn it felt good. A Digital catharsis I’m now calling it, and I would highly, highly recommend. The same way I thought some kind of collapse was going to happen if I deleted my Tinder account (and didn’t) was the same I felt when deleting, and unclogging all the shit from my phone – nothing happened. No one was offended, no implosion of the universe now that I was missing all these little 0’s and 1’s from my phone, and I feel light as a feather.
What’s that saying? New Year, New Me – and what perfect timing that is.
Take care of yourself,