Migrating Your Offline World to the Digital World

It’s weird that when I was in my early teens I possessed a lot of items. Things I never really needed. And after a visit to one of my friends houses and after seeing his bedroom and how little possessions he had (although he and his family were fairly wealthy) I was amazed at how clean and free his room was from clutter, and how his life was also free from clutter too. Ever since then I’ve been trying to get rid of as many of my “offline / real world” possessions as possible and migrate them to the digital World. For example, I used to have a stack of around 70 music CDs - I only have 5 music CDs now because I’ve had them all placed on my PCs HDD and into my iTunes Library. I can’t wait to get rid of the last 5 CDs too, I give them to charity shops when I’ve finished with them, and they’re all great quality because I’ve taken care of them.

I also have a personal collection of around 40 DVDs - I’m slowly buying the same films on the iTunes Store so I can get rid of the DVDs too. The same goes for books and buying their eBook alternative, although this will take some time and plenty of money to spare. I’d like to get an Amazon Kindle, fairly soon, so not only will I have them on my PC but on an eReader device too.

I already have all of my documents in the digital World, and only have a pack of A4 paper in case I need to print something out, but I don’t really use paper nowadays, anything that needs to be put on paper goes into a Notepad text file or an Office Word document and gets filed away (digitally!). The only things I won’t ever be rid of are my actual technological devices, my clothes, and my sentimental items. I want as little physical possessions as possible and as much as I can fit into my online / digital World to simplify my life.

What say you guys and girls? Do you think this is going too far or something sensible? I’m not really looking for acceptance, but more of your opinions and views on something like this. Would you go this far, or have you already?

Yes, I do put a lot of trust into my computer, and my USB pens, and my external hard drive. But take care of your technology and your technology will take care of you :slight_smile: Besides, everyone is banging on about migrating to the cloud, although I won’t be doing that for a long while, I’ve made some huge steps to migrate my World onto my digital World :slight_smile:

Andrew Cooper

It would be nice to have all documents digitally, but unfortunately we still receive lots of official stuff on paper, and have to keep that for at least 5 years (some things even 10).
We also still use CD’s (no computer in the living room), and even have some LP’s.

One thing I did digitalize (although I still have to old-fashioned originals as well) are the pictures of my childhood. One day one of the albums got wet, and although it did no great damage, I decided it would be better to make a digital backup of them, just to be sure.
I would love to scan all my pictures, and those of my wife, and all the slides my father made when he was young… but that’s a lot of work.

And I haven’t used the cloud either. For some reason, storing my personal and sensitive stuff on it just doesn’t sound right. Maybe I’m getting old fashioned? :slight_smile:

Pencil and paper never harmed anybody and that is where the true power lies. A single point of failure is never good, and good old bricks and mortar has it benefits. Music fair enough apart from the artwork, if it’s on disc, it might as well be binary on solid state.

Though books; it depends upon their nature I’ve edited many online books that were originally paperback but it’s still nice to own the originals. If it were a modern reference book then yes, a PDF would be more than suitable for lugging.

You can get rid of your clothes too as “form is void” but because one person chooses a certain path doesn’t mean it’s the right path for you. The clutter might be what makes you, you and you may need some of it to succeed.

I guess I’m old fashioned also to a certain extent! My “offline world & possessions” will always be offline. Though I do plan on scanning in childhood photographs as that is always a good idea in case of a fire or damage as Guido mentioned. Besides that, most of my documents are in my filing cabinet, I prefer to keep track of things with my old trusty pen and paper! Though, now that I think about it, it’s not bad idea to actually scan those “private” docs into my computer too, incase of a fire etc! Yikes, looks like I’ve work to do! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmm… I’m not a fan of embracing the cloud either or any online storage really, that’s just a personal preference with regard to security I guess, not to say it’s a bad idea, it’s just me being stubborn! There’s just something about all my sensitive personal data floating about on the web somewhere, sure it’s protected but still…it’s unsettling to me! shrugs

I have to say that I enjoy having my films and cds in the “tangible format” so to speak. I love the artwork as Robert mentioned too, and actually the novelty of owning say a collectors item or a special edition copy is priceless!

It’s good though that you’re getting through your stash of clutter items Andrew! I have to admire your determination! It is a good idea if this is the way you wish to live your life and how you wish to manage the clutter levels! Personally though, I don’t think I’ll be migrating any time soon though, I enjoy a bit of clutter here and there, reminds me that it’s not always all about computers, we can take a breather now and then! :smiley:

You pose an interesting question.

I once been caught by surprise by a friend of mine. He’s a teacher, and class master. (I was a teacher too, some 10 years or so back).

He asked me to join him in a open class. The subject was exactly this: the difference between paper books and digital media.

He let me do my thing: praise the net, the digital format, show them the easiness of finding that info.

In the end, I thought I was the good guy. Boy, I was wrong! :lol:

He then started dismantling my digital format piece by piece.

He tackled the reliability angle. How can you be sure the info is genuine and accurate. How can you be sure the digital info is of as good as quality, since it’s easier to publish, and destined to a more ephemeridae destiny.

He then gave examples from our childhood. The joy of holding a book in your hand, the smell. He handed them glue and paper and show them how to repair books and keep books in good condition.

It dawned upon me: I was the bad guy there. In the end, there were a couple by my side, but the general audience was drawn to his side.

And I can’t but agree with him. I remember turning pages, looking at each book in a different light, having it’s own personality. They meant something.

Not that I don’t appreciate an e-book reader. But that’s for my tech documentation. Music, movies, yes, digital media. Then again, photos, w/o the specific feel, tough, they don’t make you feel the same as holding the real deal, no matter how bad shape they’re in.

There is commodity in the digital format. But “La vie bohème” is in the physical contact with the actual photo or book.

I have very little stuff. Computer related hobby and career since the mid teen years do that to you. There’s almost nothing to be digitalized except for a few old CDs and old photos.

I like minimalist lifestyle. Clutter does burden you. You become weirdly attached to stuff, and things no longer help you live like they’re supposed to, but you start living for things. That can’t be healthy.

I have my little library at home and even old CDs and cassette tapes. Never replaced them because I appreciate things that I can hold. They are more valuable to me but of course since we’re in the modern age, I have other things in digital too.

That made me think of my weird obsession with never knowing when is a good time to throw out old payslips or bank statements. I tend to hoard those like a little squirrel would harvest nuts for the winter :lol: Recently I did manage to come to terms with throwing out some of my old teaching materials from my last job but even that took me a long while to do! I just tend to think, what if I might need them again for the future! Weirdly I did feel a lot better knowing I was getting through it all but yes definitely you’re right it can become very unhealthy for sure! I suppose in a case like this it would be a better idea to go digital with those documents in terms of storage management rather than having boxes of handouts etc cluttering up the place :tup:

I have, and keep WAY too much stuff. I am definitely a hoarder… I can’t bear the thought of getting rid of my CDs, DVDs etc. A fair few of my CDs are signed as well, definitely won’t be getting rid of them any time soon!

Think of when was the last time you needed something and you were glad you didn’t throw it away. I bet you’ll have hard time remembering. And if you really needed it again, would it be irreplaceable?

Some things have sentimental value. They are things of no practical use that just collect dust, but we can’t throw them away. There’s a solution for that. Take a picture of it, and sell the thing or throw it away. Sentimental value is in your head and seeing a picture of a thing is enough to induce the memories and feelings. You don’t need to clutter yourself with little nothings to do it.


Would the above successfully apply to a wife?

:lol: Noope

I’ve lots of times where I was glad I didn’t throw away stuff! You should see all the cables and sound cards I’ve got stacked away, they have and will come in handy again some time :lol: But yes, overall I do take your point.

I agree in terms of say ornaments, things we collect just to have them, these are indeed dust collectors. In terms of what this topic is about, migrating to the digital world - it’s hard to capture that “tangible” feel for things, or smells or look - these are things that cannot be replaced IMO, even if a picture is taken of it, it just wouldn’t be the same - I couldn’t just discard it so easily, if at all.

I love clutter-free, almost a little too much. However, I still have a lot of my offline world “offline.” Reason being, I’m not quite ready to place it all in the digital world. Too afraid of my computer crashing, etc. On the other hand, I do have quite a lot of stuff in the digital world. Sometimes I opt to throw things away, when I should have kept them.

In agreement with you, php_daemon.

I think when you really want to reduce the clutter you can give up the tangibility of things that you pay attention to once every 10 years and that are being ignored the rest of the time.

And yes, that can apply to a wife too? :lol:

Hi Ally, I’m not ready for that big leap either. I mean, sure I’m ok with digital storage but there’s that niggling feeling of what if something happens, just how many times can you back up your VIP data and be 100% confident that nothing is going to happen to it - I guess there are risks no matter what way you store your data offline or online but perhaps the risks are higher IMO at least for now in the digital world…

Hmm, can’t honestly say that I’d let go like that, I’d rather throw out furniture than throw out boxes of sentimental items if clutter/storage was a big issue! :shifty:

This poor wife angle…she’s better off without you guys :smiley: :nono:


It also means you can use it on a husband too, isn’t it?

I wish this would be true. I’d have a word with my boss’s husband, try to make him see the benefits. For us all. I can’t remember last time I heard about a photo slamming the door behind it. As far as my boss go, I can still remember today’s day at work.

I’ve heard, about digital photos, that you can resize them to a 1:1 scale. I’d love to do that with my boss. It would solve the problem of the favicon for our site.

I’m not sure about other effects. She seems to have a mask applied already.

But I would love to save her in a lossless format.

Saving our boss in digital format has certain advantages for us. We’d know for sure how many bytes she has.

I’m not sure if I would bother to include it in my daily back up. It’s not practical, she seems like one of those huge photos with files hidden inside it.

Making my boss digital would extend her duties as a tracker image.

My boss has already signs of going the digital path: you can’t really tell if somebody else didn’t touch it.

My digital boss is old school photography: she’s kept in negative format.

Lol Noope, that’s hilarious, favicon :rofl: - I’m sure it could be applied to husbands too no doubt!

Anyway, enough giggles aside, let’s refocus please! :slight_smile:

Does anyone actually use those digital photo frames? I don’t think I’d like a slide-show on my wall or over my fireplace, would seem a bit bizarre to me.

Going back to paper media.

I’m a Sci-Fi fan. Like Frank Herbert’s Dune fan, not Iron Man fan.

I hope one day to struck gold on my passion. I’ve kept my “Colecţia de Povestiri Ştiinţifico-Fantastice”, translated to “Science-Fiction Stories Collection”, a magazine starting back in 1960s.

I don’t have but from 1980s issues, but still, I guess I rather hold on to them for when they’ll maybe worth something more than recycled paper.

Those digital photo frames don’t tell me nothing either.

One thing I’ve done, and it keeps me from going too digital with my possessions. I’ve used my PII 233MHz 32Mb RAM machine, back in the day, to “digitalize” all my cassette tapes. It was a learning experience. A lengthy learning experience. But I still got the CDs later. With less work and trouble.

A simple fun fact. CDs never sounded as good on CD player as my tapes did on my cassette player. The shoosh and whoosh after many many repeated playing, and tape rewind and tape being caught and turned to noodles, now, that was fun.

Seeing real staff touched by time seems more appropriate for me, to remind me I’m human and that time passes by me. Going digital with all the personal stuff, seems to me like a refusal to acknowledge it.

To me both.

Let say you put all your important documents into external drive and a few years later…it stopped working due to some rust or some hardware failure. Yes… electronics does age and will break. Even CD/DVD’s are not trustworthy either. As of now, I store all my photo in a external hard drive but keep another back-up drive and actually print each of the photo. While cloud storage is a good solution but I would not count on being 100% reliable. Hm… maybe I can do

Photo Print -> External Disk -> Back up External Disk -> Back up Cloud Storage

For me… I would ask “How would you keep important digital files over a century?”

Oh!! back to topic… I wish all the mails I get are sent directly to my e-mail!!! I do know a paid service who does that but… no way I’m gonna pay money for it…