Twitter user @antichristjared has lit a fuse under everyone on social media by bringing up a theory that’s been circulating on various forums for ages. The Shopping Cart Theory is used as a way to determine whether or not people are capable of doing good without any motivation to do so.
Though in this case, doing good is defined as doing a basic chore. I don’t know if I think those are the same thing, but let’s follow Jared and his followers down the rabbit hole. He screenshot an illustration of the theory and an anonymous post about it.
“I can’t f—king stop thinking about the shopping cart theory,” he captioned them both.
The post reads:
The shopping cart is ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing.
To return the shopping cart is an easy, convenient task and one which we all recognize as the correct, appropriate thing to do. To return the shopping cart is objectively right.
There are no situations other than dire emergencies in which a person is not able to return their care. Simultaneously, it is not illegal to abandon your shopping cart. Therefore the shopping cart presents itself as the apex example of whether a person will do what is right without being forced to do it.
No one will punish you for not returning the shopping cart, no one will find you or kill you for not returning the shopping cart. You must return the shopping cart out of the goodness of your own heart. You must return the shopping cart because it is the right thing to do. Because it is correct.
It continues, “A person who is unable to do this is no better than an animal, an absolute savage who can only be made to do what is right by threatening them with a law and the force that stands behind it. The Shopping Cart determines whether a person is a good or bad member of society.”
Okay, a lot of people have opinions on this, probably reflecting their perception of themselves and their perception of civic duty in regards to carts. I’ll be honest and say that in a big lot, when I’m headed to a car, I’ll put the cart back or in one of those corrals. However, when I’m at Trader Joe’s, getting into a Lyft, I just shove it in the general direction of the many people who are putting them back, because it’s their job and there’s a line behind my car. So, circumstances do dictate behavior. Or I’m an a**hole when not being one is inconvenient. Either way, I am at peace.
Either way, the pushback was intense:
sometimes I DO…sometimes I DONT 😐 https://t.co/dGqtT8ZsUa
— Vickie (@vik1958) May 16, 2020
WTF is this philosophy? https://t.co/6t3oKnkbrK
— CloudCuckooCountry (@CloudCuckooCoun) May 16, 2020
How about we don’t judge someone’s character based on physical ability? Like, ever? I can see an instance where someone with a chronic condition has a flare up and it’s all they can do to get the cart to their car.
— Ashlee Boyer 🦻🏻 (@ashleemboyer) May 15, 2020
A good reason not to return it is if you are alone, with young children, and you are too far from the return to leave your kids alone in the car
— Patrick (@UrbanPat) May 15, 2020
Cart gathering is a side job of the bagger. Each bagger gets one hour to collect. It doesn’t extend anyone’s hours. If you can’t wrangle almost all the carts in that time it actually gets them in trouble. You’re literally making someone’s life hell.
— Deep Thoughts with Mike Higdon (@MikeHigdon) May 16, 2020
Though many agreed:
i mean yeah that’s the idea. having that level of respect and consideration for a stranger is what makes you a “good member of society”
— sam @ kasumin solo mv 👀 (@nyahoarder) May 15, 2020
Lol the people bashing the test don’t like what it says about themselves or cannot admit to themselves that they are actually inconsiderate jerks
— Naota (@LostNtheForrest) May 15, 2020
— Andersmith (@PvtAndersmith77) May 15, 2020
Return the shopping cart gang rise up
— knock off grim reaper (@William_T_K_) May 15, 2020
So, are you good or evil according to the Shopping Cart Theory? And which way do you put the toilet paper on the roll?