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They can’t toss the phone: Americans now suffer from ‘compulsive gadget hoarding’

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IPhones and Blackberrys and Casio thingamajigs - we love them so much we can't get rid of them. And of course our device adoration has led to a whole new dysfunctional behavior: "compulsive gadget hoarding." A big majority of us stow the electronics away for - for what? Safe keeping? Habit? Guilt?

According to a new uSell.com survey of 1,000 consumers, 68 percent of Americans are gadget hoarders, keeping their rickety old electronics for two years or more without ever using the things.

Another 70 percent admit they have multiple old gadgets at home that they haven't used within the past 3 months.

And of course there's denial. Only a quarter of the respondents would admit that they have a "gadget hoarding" problem.

Should we panic? Well, not necessarily.

"People hold on to outdated technology for any number of reasons, from sentimental through aesthetic or financial to a determination to outfox the future by showing that the old stuff still works. And, sometimes, simply to disprove the idea that there is no progress without renewal," points out The Guardian, which recently polled their readers about which obsolete gadgets held sentimental value.

"After all, if you don't flinch at the decrepitude of your belongings, perhaps you don't flinch at the decrepitude of yourself. Maybe we are all old-tech," the British news organization concludes.

Among the stuff their readers could not toss: electric typewriters, reel-to-reel tape recorders, clock radios, film cameras, Casio calculators and Sony Walkmans.

The consumer survey, meanwhile, was conducted by uSell.com, an online source for people who want to, uh, sell their old phones and electronics.

The company is more concerned with decluttering and re-purposing, according to chief operating officer Nik Raman, who has advice for those who have squirreled away their faithful old Samsung flip phone or Blackberry.

It can be "too overwhelming" to get rid of all the old stuff at once he says, advising folks to sell them off one at a time.

"To reward yourself for taking action, create a special fund to buy new gadgets with the money you earn from selling old ones," Mr. Raman advises.

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