Thursday, 26 April 2018

fomo or the diderot effect

Our gratitude to Open Culture once again for enlightening and equipping us with a dual-pronged sociological term that was coined by anthropologist Grant McCracken to describe the phenomena of consumption spiraling out of control called the Diderot Effect.
Named after sixteenth century encyclopedist and philosopher Denis Diderot who first described the mechanism that’s similar to the notion of buyers’ remorse, he experienced personally upon regretting for having parted with his old dressing gown, not merely for having indulged in the purchase of fancy loungewear but how the new garment’s fineness clashed with the rest of his wardrobe and made everything else feel a bit tawdry. The only way to remedy this feeling of unease was to get more new clothes leading him to discount the rest of his possessions in a vicious cycle of upgrading that left him bankrupt—financially and morally. The compulsion for rampant and senseless consumption plus ostentatious brinksmanship of course negatively impact the environment and undermines the collective psychology, and it is bound to only be more out of control when people are more and more immersed in a platform designed to optimise the unease of missing out and make one feel inadequate.