On Collecting

Inspired by an article called The Collectors in Medium, where Daniel Stanoescu talked about how Internet have enabled everyone to be a collector of any subjects. The ease of collecting such items wasn’t available to us in the past.

Sometimes I wonder if the ease of collecting things make us less appreciative of their existence. Information used to be limited and scarce, available to the blessed minority fortunate enough to have them. Now, information are in abundance and every one can publish to the world. So much for information overload and the excessive amount of clutters we are subjected to every day.

When such occurrence takes place, there is a certain degree of helplessness in being overwhelmed by its sheer volume. There is always that lingering feeling of things to digest, articles to catch up, videos to watch. Consciously or not, it prompts us into action.

How We Grow Into Collectors

We feverishly become collector. Internet has become the library of the generation. Anything deemed useful will be shoved into the archive of our ever growing collection. We collect first, think second. Instead of asking ourselves whether we really need it, the general notion dictates that it might be useful one day. It typifies the obsessive nature of human behaviour – if we have the choice of having it all, we are going to have it all.

Collecting becomes a habit, and I have them in the followings:

I could have used Evernote to replace some of the services above. It’s a catch-all service for anything and everything. Like bookmarking, highlighting quotes, to-do list and others. It is precisely this reason I’m veering away from it. I want to draw a clear distinction between different collections.

When I go to Pinboard, for example, I know I’ll be referencing past articles for materials. For ideas and quick draft, I’d always fire up Simplenote. If I were to store all these in Evernote, I could be lost in there, probably distracted, and maybe overwhelmed by the mountain I’ve archived. I like products and services that’s focused on just one thing and doing it well. It presents minimal distraction.

When companies are so steadfast in their approach for excellence in one particular area, they rarely disappoint.