The Diderot Effect: why we buy things we don’t need - Deepstash

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We buy products we don't need

We buy products we don't need

We often fill our lives with possessions we don't need.

This is named the Diderot Effect: the tendency to over-consume, spurred by our need for betterment.

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How the Diderot Effect was named

French writer and philosopher Denis Diderot once acquired a beautiful scarlet dressing gown. So he got rid of his old gown and admired the new one. But now the rest of his possessions felt old, so he went on a buying spree to replace his old possessions with more extravagant options, eventually leading him into debt.

All this started with one precious object. Diderot was the master of his old robe, but a slave to the new one. We do the same. We buy a cabinet, then buy objects to put on the shelve.

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How to manage the Diderot Effect

It is possible to curb impulse buying and move to mindful consumption.

  • Beware of the shiny object syndrome. When you want to buy something, ask if you need it. What real advantage will you gain?
  • Create spending limits. Create a strict budget. Avoid taking loans for anything but big essential purchases.
  • Avoid consumption triggers by going to the park instead of the shopping centre, unfollow brands on social media, and removing shopping apps.

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lolaf

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