Lifestyle & Travel

Signs You Suffer Online Shopping Addiction.

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Everyone’s been there. It’s a slow day at the office, and you’re looking for something to pass the time so you head over to Amazon to check out the day’s greatest deals. Or, it’s a rainy Saturday and you’re curled up in bed with nothing better to do than peruse the internet looking for the cheapest price on a new block of knives; a rain jacket for your golden retriever; a half-dozen pack of  assorted pocket squares. Pretty soon, you’ve burned through a few hours of the day and a few hundred dollars with shopping addiction, and you don’t even know what happened. Does this sound like you? Is it starting to happen day after day, over and over? Are the credit collectors starting to call? If any of this sounds familiar, than you, my friend, may be one of the millions that’s already suffering from an addiction to online shopping. Let’s break down some of the sure signs that you’re in the throes of this dreadful disease.

  1. You like receiving things immediately.

You’re considering ordering an item as you scroll through Amazon while eating your breakfast. A little box pops up: “Order now and receive it this afternoon!” A shiver runs through your body and you immediately pull the trigger on the purchase. At 5 PM, you rush home and wait on the stoop for the delivery man to arrive, and when he finally does, you pull the scissors you had in your pocket out and tear open the box. If this is you, then you’re a classic candidate for online shopping addiction. You could be ordering a val-u-pak of tube socks. You just like the thrill of getting something—anything—right away.

  1. You’re obsessed with finding the best prices.

Don’t get me wrong here—there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be frugal. A penny saved is a penny earned. However, if you’re spending hours trying to find a used paperback book for $4.57 instead of $4.59, you might want to reconsider how you’re utilizing your time. The thing about internet shopping is that it encourages such ridiculously miniscule price comparisons. You literally have the world at your fingertips, and if you can save two cents, you’re going to! This is another surefire sign of online shopping addiction.

  1. You’ve accumulated legitimate debt.

America is the land of debt, and the majority of people have at least a few bills that they’ve been putting off longer than they should have. But when the majority of your payments are being put toward useless stuff that you’ve bought online, you need to seriously consider re-thinking your spending habits. Online shopping has been detrimental to the financial stability of many families throughout the country, and the biggest reason is that it’s so darn easy to fall into the trap.

  1. You find your mind wandering toward online shopping.

Imagine: you’re in your kitchen, asking your kids what they did at school that day. Sally’s telling you about the hamster someone brought in at show-and-tell, and Danny’s showing you the dinosaur he drew, but all you can think of is that pop-up sale on scented candles and all the great, original scents, and how good those candles would smell in your house, and how you need to get to the computer ASAP to buy those candles before you run out of time or the site is out of stock. Wake up! Life isn’t about those candles you can buy online! Get your priorities in order! If you find your mind frequently reverting back to thoughts of online shopping, it could be a distinct sign of a problem.

  1. You use online shopping as a coping mechanism.

Life is stressful, and everyone has their way to deal with it. Some choose healthy methods, such as going to the gym or swimming a few laps. Others drown their sorrows with drugs, alcohol, or even food. The latter items are not positive lifestyle choices, and unfortunately, online shopping falls into this category as well. If your go-to method for dealing with the stressors of the day is to log on, plug your credit card number in, and indiscriminately start spending, this may be something worth looking more closely at.

  1. Your partner is concerned with how much stuff you’ve been buying online.

You’ve now bought 50 boxes of used golf balls, and they’re stacked in your living room. Your wife is on your case: how will you possibly ever use this many golf balls? Isn’t this a worthless purchase? You’re starting to fight all the time. These purchases are beginning to take a toll on your relationship. Hey, maybe your thing isn’t golf balls, but if you’re starting to have an excess of products that your partner finds completely unnecessary, it may warrant a change in behavior—or, at the very least, a discussion. Never let something as trivial as shopping get in the way of a relationship with the person you love!

  1. You’ve developed a phobia to actually buying items in a store.

It may be simply that you’re convinced you never need to go to the store again because all the best deals can be found online. Or, it may be that you’ve developed a legitimate phobia to stores given all the time you’ve spent browsing the internet. Perhaps you’ve decided that you never need to go outside again. This desensitization is not healthy! It is good to get out and mingle with others while purchasing the goods you need in your day-to-day life. To do so simply on an internet browser makes you less aware of the world around you, and as a result, less equipped to deal with it. In much the same way as texting has diminished the social skills of people today, online shopping is beginning to have a similar effect.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. It’s totally fine to make an allowance every now and again for some good old online purchases. Want to find the best deal on that sweater for your wife this Christmas? It just might be in your best interests to seek it out online. But, as with every single thing in this fine world that seems too good to be true: Always In Moderation!

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