Are Computer Geeks Hoarders?
A hoarder is someone who basically is surrounded by useless junk in their living space, doesn’t have the heart to throw anything out because they “might need it someday”, and if anyone tells them to clean up their mess they just can’t bring themselves to do it.
The Big Question however is, are computer geeks hoarders?
Yes and no.
Computer geeks amass a large amount of electronics that turn into crap simply because things change too often too fast, and of course from the dreaded proprietary nonsense.
For example, one year you buy Product X. This product comes with a cable that only works with that specific thing, so as long as you have Product X, you can’t throw that cable out. Product X inevitably becomes old and obsolete, so if you’re smart about it you saved all the original packing materials, pack Product X back into the box and then store it. Why? Because you want to sell it later. Product X then sits in the attic, basement or closet for years because who knows? Someday it may be worth a lot of money.
The problem is that it will never be worth a lot of money unless it’s some rare (or somewhat rare), super-awesome thing that’s highly sought after, like a Commodore 1581 diskette drive. However the chances of you having that rare, super-awesome thing is slim at best.
Computer geeks don’t ordinarily hoard out of compulsion; the industry moves product so quickly that you almost have to just to keep your crap working.
When does a computer geek have a legitimate problem with hoarding?
This one’s pretty easy to figure out. If the geek has a whole bunch of electronics, but the bulk of them are broken, it’s all crap and needs to be throw out or recycled.
I’ve seen computer geek hoarders give all the excuses in the world why their homes are full of electronic junk. The excuses are always the same.
- “I’ll fix it someday.” (It will never be fixed.)
- “That’s part of a project I’m working on.” (..which has been going on for more than 2 years now with absolutely no progress made since you put it aside?)
- “I need that stuff.” (No, he doesn’t.)
- “That’s a collectible.” (Then why is it not stored properly, in the open and covered with dust if it’s so valuable?)
- “I plan on selling that.” (No, he won’t.)
You get the idea. A true electronics hoarder has mountains of crap, none of it works and does nothing but pile up and waste space.
To note, a geek who has a workshop full of crap is usually not hoarder. The workshop is a designated place for stuff to be worked on, parts are everywhere, the area is rarely clean and that’s just the way it is. It’s when the crap spreads itself outside the work area that it becomes a problem.
How do you get an electronics hoarder to give up (some of) his crap?
Flash dollar signs at him. The precious metals in circuit boards are worth money to computer recyclers, and even the most devout electronics hoarder will relent when he can get cash. Find the nearest computer recycling center near you, learn what they pay out for specific items, present that info to the hoarder and watch how fast his mess will magically clean up.