Updated: Nov 24
I start with an assumption that all my readers must have faced the dilemma of whether to buy or not to buy at least once by now if not more.
Why do we all have this immense craving to gather new stuff and over look the one's that we possess?
Seems science has an answer for it. And its got to do with something that's deep inside our brain activating behavioural patterns basis our desires.
A study by Robert Sapolsky, a neuroscientist found that humans and monkeys respond similarly to action leading to reward. Here he compared how once we enter a store, a craving takes over us in the form of Dopamine release which gives us the sensation of pleasure.
Dopamine as you would know is the happy drug our bodies release and it can be very addictive.
In simpler times, where the world was not all about sell and purchase, where humans depended on their own physical skills to acquire food and other means of survival, dopamine was released whenever a task was completed. Be it gathering fruits or a successful hunt or just an escape from a predator. But in modern days these moments of thrill have subdued and are now replaced with shopping. Where with minimal physical effort you get real rewards in terms of food and entertainment. Also here the dopamine effect can be triggered with smaller time intervals unlike the times where dopamine was released less frequently due to the physical constraints.
So now we have these pleasure seeking humans, high on Dopamine, seeking to gain more and more pleasure. It might seem like we have hacked the system to happiness, but we failed to calculate the loss. Unlike when Dopamine was released in longer intervals, its effect lasted long and it induced healing. But now its available at a click of a button or a swipe of a card. Overloading our senses and feeling like we are wired in for more.
Dopamine is essential to the body, but being out of proportions can cause severe ailments. Having low Dopamine makes you irritable and can also lead to depression, schizophrenia and psychosis. where as having more of it can lead to conditions that include ADHD, binge eating, addiction and gambling. So no wonder we are piling on weight and latching onto addictions one after the other.
Religions might have tagged over-consumption a Sin (Greed), but we now now that it truly is self-destructive to shop for your wants and not just for your needs.
P.S.: The objective of this blog to make people realize the effects on self when we over-consume. Our world is made up of limited resources and we cannot afford a system which supports uncontrolled growth of consumption. I urge you to learn for yourself to distinguish Need from your wants.
Need: Clean Food, Clean Water, Clean Air (needs are irreplaceable for survival and can be attained freely)
Want: Burger, Gatorade, F residences (wants try to overlay over Needs and are usually sold at a cost)