Are You an E-Hoarder?

Email hoarding: When you just can't delete those old emails

Larry Fisher is a Green Bay Packers fanatic. An Aaron Rodgers jersey is strewn across a chair in his clean, well-kept Fort Lauderdale apartment, and a Brett Favre framed photo hangs on the wall. He's got a Packers throw on the couch and a cheesehead doll on a shelf.

He calls it his "man cave."

Fisher also has six computers crammed into the one-bedroom home. Why?

"Don't want to get rid of the files, can't get rid of it," Fisher said.

He just cannot bring himself to delete any emails. He is what psychologists call an E-hoarder.

"Delete? What, are you kidding me?" Fisher asks, chuckling that anyone would suggest such a notion. "Why would I want to delete it? It's mine. If I delete it, I'm throwing it away. Why would I want to do that? I might need something that I had on there two or three years down the road."

So rather than just delete useless stuff, Fisher keeps buying more computers and hard drives to store his reams of, well, what does he call it?

"Mainly junk," Fisher says, wearing a vintage Ray Nitzschke jersey.

Cheryl Gotthelf, a Hollywood-based psychologist, said E-hoarding is a fairly new phenomenon.

"Most people who hoard have a very difficult time making decisions, what's important and what's not," Gotthelf said. "If he has six computers, he's overwhelmed with this stuff. So to just tell him, delete it all, is gonna be very, very difficult."

Fisher has a keen sense of humor. He knows saving innocuous emails from 2005 is strange, but he doesn't care. He did move family pictures to a portable hard drive to make them more accessible and to actually free up space.

"Yeah," Fisher laughs, "Because I need room for my emails and all that other junk."

His current desktop has 3,552 emails. To be a good sport, he picks one message to delete. It was sent to him by a friend in 2007.

"It says, 'You have time to write but no time to call, haha,'" Fisher said.

He saved that for four years. "Yeah, what's wrong with that?" he said.

The next step was huge. Fisher deleted it.

"There it goes. Oh God that hurts. It's gone." Fisher said as he clicked on the delete button. "I need an aspirin."

He says he'll keep buying new computers when his fill up with data.

"It's not affecting my life in any negative way, it's not hurting anyone," Fisher says. "Even though my daughters think I'm crazy."

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