Are you obsessed with tracking your holiday packages? Lots of us are and it turns out, there’s a scientific reason for it. This time of year, we tend to do a lot of online ordering and if you get a child-like joy from placing that order - even if it’s a kitchen gadget for someone else - you’re not alone.
And the happiness doesn’t go away once we click “buy now.” We eagerly refresh the U.S.P.S. or FedEx website to see when our package will arrive and get overly excited, hopeful and anxious while we watch and wait. And that’s the thing - experts say there’s something exciting about the anticipation of waiting. It can be a welcome distraction from a bad day or a bigger problem and it just makes us feel good.
"It's anticipatory pleasure that something positive and good is going to happen when you get this parcel,” explains psychotherapist Owen O’Kane, “and a lot of people realize that placing that order and waiting for it does feel good.” So basically, having something to look forward to, even if it’s just the arrival of a present you’ve ordered for your sister-in-law, helps to cheer us up. And when our package finally arrives, we’re satisfied, but our excitement may have dwindled because tracking and waiting for a package is more fun than actually getting the item.