If you don’t put your shopping trolley back you’re an awful person, theory claims

It’s a pretty simple litmus test

A hypothetical dilemma aptly named the shopping cart theory is currently doing the rounds on Twitter and it is freaking everyone out.

You know when you’re done shopping and you’re getting ready to lug several crates of booze and maybe a vegetable home with you? What do you do with the trolley? Do you leave it wherever the fuck you want and accept losing the £1 you paid for it? Do you take it home like the LEGEND you are? Well depending on how you answer that you can actually work out how effectively you self-govern. It’s a hot talking point at the moment for obvious lockdown-related reasons. This is everything you need to know about the shopping cart theory:

What is the shopping cart theory and where did it come from?

The theory came from an anonymous post on a website forum, and has since been circulated by a number of people on Twitter.

“The shopping cart if the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of governing,” it reads.

It continues: “To return the shopping cart is an easy, convenient task and one which we all recognise 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.”

I mean in reality this is only half-true because most UK supermarkets have you put a £1 coin in your trolley so you stand to lose something if you just abandon/steal your trolley but hey ho.

What does it mean if I don’t put my shopping trolley back?

According to the post, not returning the shopping trolley makes you “no better than an animal,” which is a bit intense but go off I guess. If you don’t put the trolley back, you’re leaving it for staff to clean up after your mess (twat behaviour) and if you steal it your depriving someone else of a shopping trolley. You FIEND.

Shopping cart theory explained: What is the shopping cart theory and where did it come from? Why is everyone on Twitter talking about it?

Again, this theory doesn’t hold up when you consider the whole ‘pay a pound to use the trolley’ thing, because if you pay for your trolley and leave it you’re actually enabling someone else to use the trolley without paying, which is kind of altruistic when you think about it. If they then chose to return it you’ve basically gifted them a pound, but if they also leave it you’ve started a chain of generosity. Is this theory… bullshit?

Why is everyone talking about the shopping cart theory now?

It feels like a long time since supermarket workers complained of obnoxious shoppers emptying shelves by selfishly stockpiling basic necessities, but the conversation around being considerate to others amidst ongoing social distancing measures is still very much alive.

With lockdown seemingly being eased up, maintaining social distancing means using common sense and being considerate to others, even if it won’t make an immediate difference to you if you don’t.

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