Gadgets

Got old gadgets? You may be a hoarder

old phones
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Bakalusha

Are you a gadget hoarder?

Sixty-eight percent of Americans have “compulsive gadget hoarding,” according to a recent survey by used electronics marketplace uSell.

That figure came from the percentage of respondents who have been keeping old gadgets — mostly phones, but also other mobile electronic devices — for two years or more without using them. That, according to uSell, is gadget hoarding.

Of course, some of us describe that as “haven’t had the time to clear out my attic.”

Seventy percent, who have more than one old gadget that hasn’t been used for the past three months, are apparently hoarders-in-training.

The survey noted that “only 25 percent of Americans admit to having ‘a gadget hoarding’ problem.”

We read that finding as: “An astounding 25 percent Americans think they have a ‘gadget hoarding’ problem.”

After all, how many still have diskettes they don’t use, videotapes they no longer watch, books they never read again (or read for the first time), shirts that don’t fit them, dishes they never eat off of, shoes they never wear, and so on?

Getting rid of a gadget is a substantial chore in itself. Throw it in the trash, and you are killing the planet.

There are websites, stores, municipal programs and vending machines that will, of course, take your old phones, possibly even in exchange for some cash — uSell among them. But that’s #94 on my List of Things to Do Today.

And, before recycling them, there’s the big time hog for most gadgets of making sure you have the data backed up and that you’ve really, really wiped it clean. That’s #105 on the List. However, uSell says the companies that buy its used devices — and they only sell to companies — will wipe them first before reselling.

The uSell survey kindly also lets us know that your gadget decisions go far beyond equating you with that guy who keeps every newspaper and magazine he’s received for the past 40 years.

The survey said that 60 percent of women will judge a person based on their phone model and condition. Only 50 percent of men will judge others on the basis of their phone.

More than half of respondents from all genders say they would have a negative impression of a business meeting participant if she whipped out an old or damaged phone. For a meeting-goer so displaying an aged or battered device, a whopping 80 percent said they would described such a person as “frugal,” “not tech savvy,” or even “old.”

So, if there are any twenty-somethings out there who want to be immediately perceived in a business meeting as thrifty or more mature, you now know about a simple prop that will do the trick.


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