Supported by


America’s Dopamine-Fueled Shopping Addiction

Feb 22, 2019 | 72 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Consumerism in the U.S. has reached an all-time high. In 2017, we spent $240 billion on goods such as jewelry, watches, luggage, books, and phones—twice as much as in 2002, even though our population grew by only 13 percent during that time. This is not to mention the 81 pounds of clothes and textiles that each American throws away annually, or the 26 million tons of plastics we collectively dispose of each year.

In a new animated video, writer Alana Semuels describes why shopping is so addictive and emphasizes the urgency in finding an encompassing solution to the problem of wasteful consumerism.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to

Author: Jackie Lay

About This Series

Short, animated videos from The Atlantic