Whether purchasing an Amazon item with one-click buy and then double checking that the shipping address is correct,1 sending an email and then going to “sent” to re-read it, publishing a blog post and then proofreading it, or merging code and then visiting the visual diff to make sure the changes won’t bring a site to its knees, it’s more fun to check something right after you’ve shipped it than it is to check it before when there’s still time to fix it.2

I know I’m not alone in this, but I haven’t found a term that psychologists use to describe it. I think it could easily be in the same chapter as other social phenomena such as the bystander effect or normative social influence. If you could spy over someone’s shoulder at their computer or phone, you’d see them do it every day. We do it without even thinking.


  1. This is especially worrisome when you’ve recently moved. ↩︎
  2. Most digital actions are easily reversible, so in that sense it’s never too late. You can easily modify an Amazon order, resend an email, modify an article, or revert a pull request. Depending on the circumstances it might make you look silly, but you can do it. ↩︎