The Addictive Power of Online Shopping

By Lyka Marielle Abrejal

A girl started browsing and scrolling through her phone with sweaty hands, eyes focused on the clock, and her body feeling an adrenaline rush. It’s midnight! “Yes! 12.12 Shopping Sale! 80% off of all items!” she thought.  Suddenly, an item created an immediate, magical connection with her. She felt the urge to click the “add to cart” and “order now” buttons. In the end, she found herself receiving several products at the doorstep.

We have all been guilty that promo sales attract us whenever we shop online. Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, Amazon, and other online shopping sites have become parts of our everyday lives. They are more convenient. We get to shop from the comfort of our homes, especially during this pandemic where we are not allowed to go out. This COVID-19 global crisis has impacted our shift towards the digital world and rendered an emerging trend in online shopping.

However, what would you do if you suddenly find yourself addicted? Experts say that addiction to online shopping is linked to compulsive buying disorder (Tyler & Legg, 2016). Shopping may become a way to cope with stress, which may lead to excessive shopping that can affect other areas of life. People always like to keep up with the trend. You might feel that you are missing out and end up buying something you do not need at all.

According to Hartney (2020), addiction may manifest in impulsive and compulsive buying. Impulsive buying is an unplanned purchase due to an immediate desire to have something. In contrast, compulsive buying is typically more pre-planned as a way of escaping negative feelings.

How can we control ourselves? One practical way I use is the 30-day rule — wait for 30 days to buy the item. If you still want to make the purchase, go for it. If not, let it go, and do not look back! Control, limit, discipline yourself, and most importantly, save your money.