Updated: May 18, 2020
From the existence of the age-old barter system to the modern form of economic exchange, purchasing goods and commodities have always coexisted with human evolution. From meeting basic survival needs to improving the living standards of the masses through luxury products, shopping has always played a vital role in the sustenance of any economy across the globe and human society as a whole. Regrettably, as the economic prosperity of our society increased, shopping became a leisure activity, thanks to unlimited human wants and desires, rather than a mode to fulfill only one’s needs; which is not a piece of very good news for us in the long-term.
The overly increased popularity of shopping through Social Media or other advanced practices of the advertisement has led a serious impact on the psychology of consumers emerging new disorders like the Oniomania- a kind of shopaholic behavior or addiction to shopping- in certain individuals. It is a behavioral addiction that involves compulsive buying as a way to feel good, treating it as a fashion statement to avoid negative feelings such as anxiety or depression.
Such shoppers consider cost as an index of quality of the product that they are purchasing; thus spending much more than what they can afford. Psychological researches have established conclusions that individuals with this tendency suffer from usual anxiety to panic attacks if they don’t go shopping for too long. Sometimes, people end up developing serious mental problems which range from spending much more than they can afford to assuming shopping a way to feel less guilty about previous shopping sprees to considering shopping as a reaction to feeling angry or depressed. They experience compulsiveness to go shopping and eventually end up purchasing unnecessary stuff. People with shopping addiction tend to be more materialistic and try to prop themselves up by seeking social status through material objects and seeking approval from others. It is no wonder that obsession with shopping has now become a new trend and fashion statement in our society, negatively impacting many individuals, moving us towards a more materialistic society.
Now the question arises how to overcome this impulsive or compulsive disorder of over-shopping, so there are a variety of suggestions people give. From self-introspection and developing self-control to seeking a counselor, all of these ways can help an individual to get away with this problem. Experts suggest that practices as common and self-talk or having an emotional conversation with someone close can help stabilize the moods of such shoppers as they believe that individuals develop this tendency by considering shopping as a stress reliever or simply something that makes their mood light and shifts their focus from the emotional problems that they are in. Some claim that this is also the result of our shallow relationships- we may have one thousand friends on Facebook, but have no genuine friend in reality. So, try building real relationships and friendships with people around because one well-wisher is far more valuable than all the material commodities on the planet. If you are spending quality time with your loved ones, you will never need an addiction to feel worthy and happy. Shopping addiction can be as distressing as any other addiction. But there is hope, and support from those around you can help you to control your spending. Remember, you are a worthwhile person, no matter how much or how little you own. Apart from individual effort, some steps are also required by the dominating leaders of society. The businessman should be educated to put their consumers first and their well-being before any profit and advertisement. Given the vision of the collective growth of humanity, the movers of the economy must keep their personal ambitions at bay and realize that consumerism is more important than a profit-oriented mindset.