Digital hoarding and personal use digital data

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The problem of “Digital Hoarding” has been studied in a workplace context but less so in relation to personal use digital data. In this study, we examine the relationship between scores on a measure of Digital Hoarding and the digital behaviors associated with personal technology. One hundred and sixty-seven participants completed the Digital Hoarding Questionnaire (DHQ) to assess digital hoarding tendencies. Participants indicated their main storage device for personal use digital data and thought about this when completing a new measure–the Digital Behaviors for Personal use Questionnaire (DBPUQ) designed to capture information item management behaviors and affective responses to digital information items. Higher scores on the DHQ correlated with difficulty finding information items, attachment and distress at potential loss of information items. Participants’ choice of personal device was not associated with DHQ scores, information item management behaviors, affective responses or total information items stored. This work provides a first step toward a better understanding of personal use digital data hoarding. We discuss the implications of digital hoarding of personal use data with respect to increased feelings of anxiety, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and sustainability concerns. Understanding digital hoarding in a personal use data context is foundational for developing design solutions and behavioral interventions aimed at reducing digital data overload.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalHuman-Computer Interaction
Early online date21 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2023

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