Online shopping addiction: A huge ordeal or not?

Shoppers are everywhere in today’s generation, either offline or online, or even both. With the evolution in the practices of shopping, convenience and comfort has increased manifolds. Thus, the addiction to shopping has found a uniquely advanced definition, that will probably make you think twice whether you too are an addict. Traditional shopping needed a lot of movement and work, but it still didn’t matter much to addicts of shopping. And the current scenario has given a whole new opportunity to shoppers in uplifting their addiction towards shopping online. 

Online shopping as an addiction

As per the statistics, “In the year 2020 there are almost 2.05 digital buyers worldwide out of the world’s population of 7.8 billion people.” you can imagine the crowd that is there online, to shop stuff which they might not even need, in some cases. Now, it is evident that online shopping is a quite easy affair, where you just click and buy any product of your choice, and it eventually arrives at your doorstep the next day. This is what triggers addicts, the ease and comfort, the convenience and limitlessness of online shopping. The offers keep on popping, the buyers keep on buying and there’s probably on end to this story. Is there? 

For compulsive buyers, there is an innumerable amount of variety to choose from, online, that triggers them to buy each time they visit the site. The highly sweetened and strategized deals know how to trap such compulsive shoppers without much of a struggle. And they get successful in doing this, almost always. Few big examples are Amazon prime day and flash sales by other brands. There lies the yearning for instant gratification in all of the compulsive buyers, who get the feeling that they are rewarded, or have achieved something great, which isn’t really the case. It’s just their shopping behavior that is ruining their mindset for the long term. 

The founder and director of “The Shulman centre of compulsive theft, spending and hoarding” said that “Older individuals are also fueling their online shopping habits via mobile phones, tablets and computers.”

Signs of online shopping addiction: 

A deep emotional satisfaction is involved in people who are addicted to online shopping. This is followed by a need to show a certain image in society, feeling sudden excitement from deals or even buying something for loved ones. It will occupy a lot of time in doing online shopping. Often your friends and family members will let you know about this behaviour of yours, and it won’t get unnoticed. They will be the first to express concern towards you and your compulsive buying. Other warning signs could be hiding your purchase list to avoid interference of others in your buying, having problems tracking budget, falling low on bill payments, more dues, running out of space for the uncountable purchases, missing out on social or work events so as to catch up with online deals. If you notice any of these signs, then it’s highly likely that you have fallen into the trap of online shopping addiction. 

How to come out of the trap of compulsive buying? 

One of the reasons for shopping addicts turning to purchasing could be to soothe the impact of other problems that they face in their lives such as marital issues, work issues, health problems and so on. Shopping is not the correct alternative as it cannot fulfil the love or affection needs of a person, it is yet another intangible experience to make you temporarily lifted, when in reality it does just the opposite by manipulating your mind. Therefore, individuals can take certain measures to decrease their spending. First, focus on the need instead of the want, look for meaning in your purchases, try not to go beyond what makes sense as a purchase for you. Only purchase limited quantities, say earlier if you have bought 6 dresses together, cut short to 2 and so on. Make a plan for situations that may arise, like holiday, festivals or any family functions, go according to the shopping budget or the plan that you have created to avoid extra, unnecessary buying. This will help if you implement everything correctly. Lastly, believe in yourself that you can get out of this compulsive buying behaviour and practice consistently.” 

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