Majority of Americans struggle to keep their digital storage organized

According to a study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Western Digital, four in 10 said their digital desktop is no cleaner than their actual desktop. (Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)

Hoarding junk isn’t limited to people’s attics — Americans say if digital files on their phones and computers were real, they would take up their entire house.

That’s according to a recent survey of 2,000 general population Americans, which found that entertainment-related items — such as photos, videos and video games — take up the bulk of space in people’s lives.

Americans’ homes are like miniature museums, filled with collections of CDs, comic books and “swords of any kind.”

Yet, four in 10 said their digital desktop is no cleaner than their actual desktop.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Western Digital, the survey aimed to discover how the pandemic affected people’s digital storage habits.

Being cooped up has connected people to their digital devices, literally — six in 10 said they’ve become more reliant on their tech than ever before.

And although they haven’t been outside as much, 56% admit they’ve been storing a lot more photos on their devices since March 2020.

Photos and videos take up 44% of digital storage, followed by documents (41%) and screenshots (38%).

Sixty-five percent of Americans admit their camera roll is a bit of a wreck, and could probably use an organizing guru.

While 66% have become more organized and embraced a more streamlined digital lifestyle, more than half a year has passed since they’ve “cleaned house” on their old files.

It’s no surprise, then, that the oldest files on average across all devices are 4 years old.
“People’s digital collections have just as much meaning to them as physical items,” said a Western Digital spokesperson.

Six in 10 almost never delete pictures and video from any of their devices, with 43% citing the sentimental value attached to these files.

Digital cleanup is made all the more difficult with more kinds of tech, as 70% said they’ve been multitasking across devices this year more than before.

Nearly six in 10 wish there was a way to see all of their content in one place.

“Part of the challenge in organizing your digital storage is having files on multiple devices, and not always being able to move them between devices because of compatibility issues,” the spokesperson added. “Saving or backing up your files to another device frees up space without having to choose what to keep or delete.”

Banana plants
Raccoons and penguin statues
A portrait of Wolverine
Frozen pizza packaging
Swords of any kind
Living Dead Dolls
Old automotive parts
Carnivorous plants

They are memories I could never delete from my devices — 43%
I feel bad deleting old files (pictures, videos, etc.) — 43%
I may need those files in the future — 36%
I don’t have time — 32%
I want to be able to show people these files — 31%



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