June 7, 2021

The Crack Cocaine of Consumerism

Most addictive drugs flood the brain with dopamine. Shopping does the same thing, but online shopping does it more, making it more addictive.

Online shopping can stimulate as much or more dopamine production in our brains as in-store shopping. If shopping at the store is heroin, online shopping is heroin laced with fentanyl. 

In some cases digital consumerism can cause twice as much neurotransmitter as shopping bricks and mortar, making it twice as dangerous.

Researchers are finding that attaining a reward is not the main thing that boosts the brain chemical that regulates our impulse to seek out pleasure. 

Anticipation of reward also releases a rush of feel good chemical.

Ordering and waiting for a package builds anticipation. Anticipation causes dopamine release. Dopamine makes us feel good.

But it is not all good. 

A dopamine rush can negatively affect our ability to control our impulses. This can be dangerous while spending money. 

The report entitled "Digital Dopamine," presented results from interviews and surveys of 1,680 shoppers from the US, UK, Brazil, and China in 2014. 
From the report: 


"Seventy-six percent of people in the US, 72 percent in the UK, 73 percent in Brazil, and 82 percent in China say they are more excited when their online purchases arrive in the mail than when they buy things in store.”

The bottom line is that online shopping is the crack cocaine of consumerism. That's the real reason they have been relentlessly pushing us toward it for decades.

What isn't acknowledged enough is that consumerism on steroids comes with dangerous side effects for consumers, communities, and the entire planet. 

If we don't break free of the advertising/marketing-consumerism complex we'll get stuck seeking selfish pleasures instead of helping others and developing our own creative gifts and moral character. 

Only you can set yourself free.

Once you know more, 

you'll say, 

"No more!"


  1. Anonymous6/09/2021

    I'm surprised, but not surprised, to learn about digital dopamine. I immediately googled 'how to get a natural dopamine hit' and my search came up with things like, get enough sleep, get plenty of sunshine, listen to music, exercise, have good gut health. All free of charge and free of side effects!


  2. Anonymous6/10/2021

    A friend of mine's husband is caught in this trap of online shopping. She's pretty worried about it...I sent her this posting so hopefully she can start having some conversations with her husband to at least slow him down. Thanks for the post, great info. - Mary


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