Your new disease, America: Compulsive gadget-hoarding

According to a study, 68 percent of Americans keep their unused gadgets for posterity's sake. Or something. Only 25 percent allegedly admit to it.

My name is Chris and I hoard Nokias. Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If we can't unearth a new illness, syndrome, or phobia at least once a month, we are not America.

I am delighted, therefore, that by merely keeping my eyes open I can bring news of the latest.

Americans are suffering in hordes from compulsive gadget-hoarding.

I hope that, by merely writing that sentence, I can confront you with something that you know is true.

I hope that you can look your friends in the eye at your next social event and declare: "Hullo, I'm Claudia. And I'm a compulsive gadget-hoarder."

I feel sure that there will be a communal welling of support, as other friends admit to the same problem.

How do I know? Because I have seen the results of a survey that says 68 percent of Americans have kept an old device for two or more years, without actually using it.

Is one of yours a Palm? Is it an old iPhone? Or are you emotionally attached to a Samsung flip phone or the insistently beautiful and my own weakness, the Nokia 9300?

The survey also reveals just how much of a problem this is. For only 25 percent of Americans admit to being gadget-hoarders.

This is even though 70 percent currently have multiple gadgets at home that they haven't used for at least three months.

"I have an old Sony portable DVD player. It's just too cute to trash."

Before you commence your outpouring, you might wonder who sponsored this research.

May I stun you into an age before anyone at Apple copied someone else's work by telling you it's a company called Usell.com. The main task of this concern is to help you sell your unwanted gadget to the highest professional bidder.

You might conclude, then, that this research is a little like a drug company knowing it has a lucrative cure for a chronic eyebrow twitch, trying to establish that chronic eyebrow twitch is, indeed, chronic.

Though because I feel you might truly be suffering, I prefer to focus on some of Usell's immediate remedies.

It suggests trying to sell just one gadget at a time to see how that feels. Then, it entices with the thought of creating a gadget fund, through which you can buy new gadgets with the money you make from old ones.

Usell's final remedy is winning. It suggests going to an online marketplace where you can see just how much you can get for your old Motorolas and Nexuses. Yes, a site like Usell.

Are Usold? Do you feel you will be a new person, unburdened of the lumps of metal and plastic on your mantel and in your drawers?

"Hi, my name is Claudia and I used to be a gadget-hoarder. Now I just buy more and more new gadgets, keep them for a shorter time, sell them and then buy more new gadgets that I don't really need at all."

Capitalism. It always finds a way, doesn't it?

 

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