IKEA has a reputation for selling furniture that comes with the kind of instructions you'd expect to see if you were building an elaborate bomb or entry-level robot. Everyone knows that, but for some reason, countless first-time customers flock to the IKEAs of the world every single day to dip their toes in the punishing waters of extreme self-assembly.
You do not need this shit.
Even more mind-blowing is that, conceivably, a sizable portion of the IKEA customer base consists of people who are returning a second and third time (at least), despite having firsthand knowledge of the devastating effects a decision like that will have on their sanity and free time.
It seems insane, but there's science behind how and why it happens. See, if and when you actually finish building that Jerker, you'll love it and appreciate it way more because you put it together.
Even if you did a crappy job assembling it and it falls apart within a few months, you'll still take pride in that useless piece of trash. Why? Because we're all narcissistic shitheads like that. Take your children, for example.
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They might be (and almost certainly are) just as annoying or even more obnoxious than anybody else's kids, but you still like them the most because you made them.
IKEA has taken this concept to staggering new heights, as evidenced by the fact that the idea of do-it-yourself-products-as-marketing-tools is actually referred to in some circles as "The IKEA Effect."
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The first symptom is unconsciousness.
Coming away from any task with the sense that you've accomplished something tangible and real is going to feel like a win. Again, take your shitty kids for example: they might instinctively kick and scream at the sight of vegetables, but if you ask them to participate in preparing and cooking a meal with those vegetables, they'll probably eat them just because they're curious how this thing they helped build will taste.
People will always like stuff they put their work and time into, even if it's shitty. IKEA exploits this better than anyone by making you work the hardest for their products. It's a nightmare while you're in the midst of the project, but once you're finished, you feel like you've done something not everyone has the ability to do. You saw that mountain, you climbed it, and you've got a rickety-ass bookshelf to prove it.
Congratulations, master builder!
For more from Eden, follow her on Twitter @eden_eats.
For more ways you're getting fleeced, check out 21 Tricks Stores Use to Control Your Brain and 6 Subtle Ways You're Getting Screwed at the Grocery Store.
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