Since the beginning of this century, online shopping addiction has been a growing problem. Compared to ‘traditional’ shopping addiction, online shopping addiction is just a baby. Traditional shopping addiction has been around for hundreds and possibly thousands of years.
As with many commercial and human behaviors, ever since the advent of the Internet, entities, habits, and addictions have shifted. Specifically, they have shifted from what we call the ‘real world’ or ‘traditional world’ to the ‘online world.’
In many cities today, online shopping represents at least half of all retail purchases. If shopping online has grown, it is only logical that online shopping addiction would also thrive.
Online shopping is the activity or action of purchasing things on the Internet. Online shopping may refer to the purchase of goods or services.
Online shopping addiction creeps up on you
Shopping online is so easy today. All you have to do is find the web page, click here and there, enter credit card details, and buy.
However, in a CNBC Personal Finance article, Lorie Konish tells us to be careful:
“If you don’t watch out, it [online shopping) could become a habit that wrecks your finances.”
Shopping via the Internet has is convenient, simple, and offers an incredible variety of products. Prices are usually lower than on the high street. The online shopper also enjoys total anonymity.
The combination of anonymity, ease, convenience, prices, and range of goods can fuel online shopping addiction, says Dr. April Benson. Dr. Benson is a psychologist who specializes in CBD. CBD stands for compulsive buying disorder. We also call it compulsive shopping disorder or CSD.
Konish quotes Dr. Benson, who says:
“All of these are triggers for people who are compulsive buyers.”
Verywellmind.com says the following regarding CBD or CSD:
“Although it’s not officially described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it has been suggested that compulsive shopping disorder, also known as compulsive buying disorder, is either a type of impulse control disorder, a behavioral addiction or possibly even related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).”
Online shopping addiction – so many deals!
In its early days, online shopping was anonymous, but not always convenient. Web pages often crashed and were not easy to navigate. In the late 1990s, for example, I remember wanting to smash my monitor after six attempts to purchase printer toner online.
Today, online shopping is lovely. Navigation is simple and easy, web pages rarely crash, and online retailers are always sweetening deals.
Amazon pulls in consumers with events such as Amazon Prime Day.
As online shopping becomes increasingly easier and nicer, online shopping addiction grows in leaps and bounds.
Financial experts and psychologists
If I have a financial problem, I might see a financial expert. If my financial problem is the result of a mental problem, I might also see a psychologist.
According to Konish, both financial experts and psychologists say that a growing percentage of their clients have online shopping addiction traits.
Online shopping addiction – signs
In a Psychology Today article, Dr. Marlynn Wei lists some signs that point to online shopping addiction:
– The person cannot stop online shopping online. In fact, even if they wanted to or tried, they would not succeed.
– Online shopping has hurt the person’s relationships, financial situation, or work.
– Family members voice concern about the person’s online shopping. There are often arguments about it.
– The individual spends all day thinking about online shopping.
– Somebody who suffers from online shopping addiction gets upset or grumpy if they cannot shop online.
– The only thing that makes the addict relax or feel better is to shop online.
– Online shopping addicts hide the things they bought because people may criticize them for wasting money.
– After buying something online, the person subsequently feels guilty.
– Online shopping addicts spend less time doing other things. They spend less time because they are shopping online so much.
– People suffering from online shopping addiction often buy things they cannot afford. They also purchase things they do not need.
Dr. Wei wrote:
“Pathological buying can also be tied to or worsened by other psychological issues, like anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, hoarding, or mania. Treating the underlying issue can help improve the buying behavior if it stems from another disorder.”