Well, not exactly, but Ben’s commentary regarding getting rid of things smacks heavily of my consistent desire for minimalism in all the facets of my life. The key here is honesty and providing yourself with a consistent, undeniable metric, as described by Ben’s sister’s clothing thinning process:
She said that each year she hangs all the hanging clothes so that they are hooked from the wrong side. She had some like system for the folded clothes as well. And then at the end of the year she donates all the clothes that have not been touched in that year — easily indicated by hangers still turned the wrong way.
I immediately turned to Lexi and asked that we do this or something similar. As it is, I will be attempting to incorporate some physical representation of disuse to all of my things. When was the last time I use this appliance? This piece of untouched tape says six months. Why do I still have this old jacket? It’s been a year since I used it and I now have a replacement. Is this room full of furniture because it has to be or because I want it to be? Look at the layer of dust on this shelf. Kidding aside, it really is a good idea.
After reading his thoughts, it became abundantly clear why he created his new storefront site. His three pile system—Keep It, Toss It, Sell It—is close to my thought of Keep It, Toss It, Donate It. Even where technology is concerned, I simply don’t have the time, energy, or interest to sell things, although I once did have this trifecta in the form of a storefront on Ebay. Either way, Ben’s words had me nodding in agreement and thankful that he has embarked on his own version of NaNoWriMo because I assume that these thoughts would have otherwise gone unwritten.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.