We're "constantly confronting the onslaught of information, and our brains are trying to make patterns out of the randomness," says TIME's Joel Stein. Obsessively tagged MP3s, meticulous photo folders, whitewashed inboxes—are you too struggling to stay digitally neat?
"We believe that if we just finish a list of every movie we want to see, we can finish that task," continues Stein, despite the fact that his Netflix queue—like mine—is a bottomless pit of despair and futile cinematic ambitions. A stockpile of things I add for the millisecond burst of satisfaction I get from clicking on a French New Wave film, half-knowing I'll never actually get around to watching it, because it's underneath 70 other discs I'll never watch either.
So what's the solution? "We need a digital Zoloft, something that will force us to allow messiness into our digital lives." Embrace a little clutter, Stein implores. Let that inbox fill up, as much as you might start grinding your teeth because of it. Clear out the DVR. Maybe don't spend 20 minutes tracking down hi-res album art for a torrented discography you'll never listen to. I'm half onboard—though the thought of all of my photos in one giant, uncategorized folder makes want to curl up with a bottle of whisky and several powerful tranquilizers. Nonetheless, Stein is (sadly) sure as hell right about this: "No woman will ever sleep with you because your music collection is sorted by genre, artist and the date each album was released." [TIME]