Ben Borgers

My Guilt for Useless Things

February 19, 2022

For some reason, I find it super difficult to keep things around when they’re useless.

That’s a bit vague. Let me given an example.

The first time I noticed this was when I was a kid, bringing a portable power bank with me in the car on a day trip with my parents. If I noticed that the power bank was actually empty, I’d have this overwhelming feeling that I really would rather not have it with me. I wished that I could just go back home and leave it there instead of carrying it with me all day.

Even back then, I noticed that it was strange to have such a strong urge against keeping the charger with me.

But for some reason, it still really bothers me to have useless things. When I make a decision about not wanting to own something anymore, I really just want to get rid of it. When I was making t-shirts and accidentally messed up the embroidery on one, I really just wanted to throw it out. Keeping it around for sentimental value felt physically repulsive.

Perhaps it’s an urge to be organized and for everything to have a purpose. I’ve always seemed to leave my room and other spaces organized and clean by default.

But for some reason, this urge extends to the digital world as well.

A couple hours ago today, I signed up for a website. While testing it out, I created a second “organization”, but then realized that I couldn’t delete it.

So I sent a support request asking if they could delete it for me. I don’t like having this useless thing flying around in digital space. It feels unfinished and unorganized.

Neurotic? Yes. Irrational? Also yes. I’m not sure why I do this. But it’s an interesting thing to observe.