Free isn’t free

Here is a free newsletter. It’s free. You should sign up for it.
But what about the email that you give in exchange?
But what about receiving junk that you don’t need?
But what about the spending everyday deleting that email?

There is a free ice-cream giveaway. It’s free. You should go get it.
But what about the calories you will gain?
But what about the time you spent waiting in line?
But what about the uncomfortableness when someone comes to harass you about their latest product?

On the contrary, air is free. It’s everywhere. You use it every day. You can’t pay for it even if you want to.

Just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s worth it. It is our job to understand the people you seek to change. The calculation that people make in their head. This is what it means to empathise. The seductive of free might be an easy way to get people to consider but it’s never a way to delight them.

Before demanding that people should do it because it’s free, ask yourself if it’s worth it. For you and for them.

The photo was taken at the Wonderland exhibition, ArtScience Museum Singapore.

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