It may be true. Shopping takes us to places we’ve never been to. Shopping makes us fly, fly away from the gruesome reality of our lives. It shelters us from the horrors of the outside world. We crave for its comfort, even for a short while. However; once we make up that reality is practically inescapable, a scratch on the head signifies that doom of pilling bills and of frustrating regrets. But let's admit it, sometimes we just can’t help it. We can’t help but flee to someplace safe and satisfy ourselves by consuming when we can.
But just as anything is derived from something good, too much of it can hurt. A study on medical daily suggests that while shopping induces a feeling of empowerment and boost in self-esteem, most shopaholics disregard their credit card statuses. More often than not, excessive shopping may be directed towards the emotional need to satisfy oneself through consumption.
However; loosen up the burden and realize that excessive consumption is not entirely your fault sometimes. The actual act of buying was not entirely induced by you and some factors may have dominantly blurred you into thinking that buying (too much) is okay. What are these things anyway? Media and the inner workings of our brain.
Marketing may be the biggest jest of our time. It fools us into thinking that we need to consume more and more to be able to fit in, stand out, or survive. It plays into our emotions, pleads our attention, and most importantly earns from us. Marketing strategies range from advertisements, to commercials, and even viral entertainment stunts. This however, does not mean marketing is the most baneful of all created. We just have to keep our eyes open and minds working to differentiate what marketing strategies serve a genuine purpose to serve rather than to unjustly capitalize.
Media in the forms of magazine, TV shows, music videos, and the like also contribute to this phenomenon. Our tendency to imitate those we look up to may lead us to justifying that something is of worth because of its appeal rather than its overall utilitarian value. With media, we are convinced that constantly purchasing is okay when too much isn’t. It bombards us with different platforms that force you to buy products when in actuality you don’t really need them. For instance, cellular phone brands that continually release new models tell consumers to purchase these new products when in truth; the phones of these consumers are still usable and in perfect condition. You may have been convinced to buy a new bike because the one you previously had did not have a basket to put your things in. You may have bought a new tablet but the connecting wire you have at home won’t fit into the ports of your laptop, so you have to buy a new one that complements your gadget. Media at this point generates new needs as well as defines what needs are. Are they really described as something necessary physiologically wise, or are they something that would primarily satisfy your pleasures?
In connection to the ones stated above, our brain plays a part in our consumption practices. The Nucleus Accumbens, also known as the “pleasure center” of the brain, plays dominantly when an individual sees something that stimulates something favorable. There is an increase in activity as this area of the brain is stimulated. Due to this, scientists are now able to predict whether a person will buy a certain product.
Be a ‘stonehearted’ shopper. Try not to be emotionally attached when purchasing goods so that you can avoid over spending. You can also try blogger Bridget’s advice if you want : “If you will not use an item for a least 45 minutes per day, you do not need to own it".
Another word of advice: Be conscious. Being able to identify what is needed versus what is needed will save you millions of pesos in the long run.
source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
sources of photos: 1 | 2 | 3 |