Online shopping can become an actual, verified addiction

Online shopping can be enjoyable and convenient © Sciengist

Online shopping can be enjoyable and convenient © Sciengist

I am reclining on the lounge, in my favourite leisure-wear.

My feet are encased by the most ridiculously cloud-like slipper-socks.

It occurs to me that we are out of organic, sustainably sourced, fair-trade coconut oil.

I know that come morning, I will forget this crucial piece of information.

What to do?

  • Reach over
  • Grab mobile
  • Log-in to favourite online supermarket account
  • Add critical ingredient to basket
  • Return to lounging


Shopping is the browsing and/or purchasing of items in exchange for money

Can you tell I'm excited? © Sciengist

Can you tell I'm excited? © Sciengist

If this were the only online shopping I participated in, it would be that simple.

Unfortunately, groceries are not where my online buck stops.

I have actually received three parcels in the mail this week (so far). All of which were the result of online shopping.

And when each parcel arrived, it felt a little like Christmas.

Let’s be honest, it felt a lot like Christmas.

And the fact that there was no one around to watch me ruthlessly rip open the packaging with shameless greed, made it that little bit more indulgent.

That little bit more enjoyable.

Oh dear.

Online shopping can become an actual addiction

It is easy to sit in the comfort of your own home, using even your handheld device and your trusty little rectangle of plastic to shop, almost guiltlessly.

There is no physical exchange of words.

There is no physical exchange of notes.

But the precious little package arrives like magic on your doorstep.

An article published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, reviewed the concept of web-based shopping issues. They came to the conclusion that online shopping can actually become a serious problem. Infact, online shopping behaviour can be classified on a spectrum! The extreme end of the spectrum involves full-blown Online Shopping Addiction (OSA).

There are apparently seven predictor variables for OSA:

  1. Low self-esteem
  2. Low self-regulation
  3. Negative emotional state
  4. Enjoyment
  5. Female gender
  6. Social anonymity
  7. Cognitive overload

I am relieved to say I only identify with three (or maybe four) of these predictors.


Online shopping can be incredibly convenient

Pre-order shopping made possible by the internet © Sciengist

Pre-order shopping made possible by the internet © Sciengist

Incredibly convenient when you want to purchase an item on pre-order.

In February, I pre-ordered two copies of Harper Lee’s second novel Go Set a Watchman. My precious books arrived today (!!!) and while the wait was almost excruciating, the process to ensure I became the proud owner of two First Edition copies was virtually effortless. Thank you Internet Shopping! Read my post about my wait for these books here.

Online shopping can be incredibly convenient. Particularly when entering a shopping centre usually results in having to scrape your tantruming child off the floor at least four times before you reach the check-out.

So until I creep further up the spectrum, I will be quite comfortable to continue my little online habit.

Now, please excuse me while I log back on and chase that pair of luscious, nappa leather chelsea boots I’ve been eyeing off all week…

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