The Diderot Effect Vs. Minimalism


Have you ever heard of the “domino effect”? When you knock one domino down and the rest falls over after it… It’s the same concept as The Diderot Effect.

Denis Diderot was a French philosopher who had first experienced this seemingly unstoppable spiral of consumption. When he acquired a beautiful scarlet robe, he felt like it was too fancy and that his other belongings were not as beautiful as it was, his possessions were not as cohesive as he wanted them to be. To fix his dilemma, he bought fancier things to replace his rugged ones, all because he felt that his robe did not belong.

We all have the impulsive tendency to acquire things that we do not need because we cannot seem to stop from splurging. It’s the domino effect of consumption.

Minimalism is a concept that has become a popular phenomenon as of recent years. In contrast to The Diderot Effect, Minimalism is more of a “Don’t need it. Don’t buy it.” kind of mentality. It is being more decisive when making purchases. It is having a mission already set in your mind that you must live by and not cheat on. It’s more of a “quality over quantity” type of thinking.

If you’re having a Diderot Effect crisis and want to start getting on the Minimalist bandwagon, here is a list that we have compiled to help you get started…

  1. Look away

You know yourself better than anyone. You know what triggers your impulsive shopping habits. Identify the things and places that increase the chances of your consumption and try to avoid them as necessary.

  1. Look at what you have first

Before buying completely new things, check for the items that you currently have first. Check their state, whether you can still use them or not. You do not have to keep buying new things, you can make do with what you have.                      

  1. Set limits

Instead of testing the limits, set them. Know your budget and stick to it. Do not spend beyond your means and needs.

  1. Declutter

If you are to buy something new, let go of its equivalent. Buying a new phone? Give your old one away. Do not hoard things and just keep them in your drawers. Maximize the life of the items by giving them a new home after you have decided to upgrade.

  1. Don’t buy anything for a month

Try it out. Do not buy anything for the rest of the month. Save your paycheck for August for the next month. Once you get into the habit of not buying any unnecessary items for a month, you’ll feel less compelled to buy anything at all for the rest of the year because you come to realize that you don’t need new things each month.

  1. Change your mindset

The way you think of things determines how you act on them. If you keep thinking that you want and need something, the more likely you will be urged to purchase it. Do not base your happiness on material things. Change the way you think about how acquiring these things would up your social status or the way others perceive you. Think of yourself and how your purchase of this item would actually change your life.

Do you have any more tips on how we can avoid the Diderot Effect and instead start living a life of minimalism? Leave them in the comments below!

Love our stories? Connect with us!
Facebook: Feel Your Tempo
Twitter: @tempoplanet
Instagram: @feelyourtempo