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Perspective: What they don't tell you about online shopping


It was the last day of Amazon Prime Day. I’m not much of an online shopper, but I was interested in the deals they had.

On average, I order around 10 things from Amazon in an entire year. Prime Day ended, and I had ordered 5 things in a 24 hour-span. I was shocked, but then I realized I was more likely to click that “Proceed to Checkout” button because of the layout of the website. They had tabs for all the popular categories of items that would have Prime Day deals. They also had a “Lightning Deals” tab that had the best deals that were only around for a couple of hours or until they sold out. This layout kept me on Amazon for hours.

Somewhere mid-scroll, I realized Amazon designed this site for a purpose. They wanted people to stay on their website, which makes them more susceptible to buying an item instead of just window shopping.

Amazon is not the only big corporation that manipulates their layout to increase revenue. All the major social media platforms have a user interface that encourages the user to stay on their site for as long as possible. For every like we receive or funny comment we read, there is small rush of dopamine in the brain, which helps us feel pleasure. This reaction has played into the instant gratification we see in our society. People want things now, now, now.

Before you go on your favorite social media app or shopping website, be aware of this so you take charge of your interactions. Set a reminder or limit on your device to make sure you don’t spend to long online.

I’m Jabari Cox, and that is my Perspective.

Jabari Cox is a student at Northern Illinois University, pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a minor in Spanish. He was born and raised on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix. Jabari has a love for God, music, computers, and other world cultures.