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Hidden Signs of Online Shopping Addiction: Risks and Traits

Updated: Jan 26


Online shopping and desk top computer

Online shopping has revolutionized the way we acquire goods and services. But for some, it's not just a convenience but a compulsion. This article aims to shine a light on the growing concern of online shopping addiction and online window shopping addiction. We'll explore its traits, causes, risks, and how to stop online shopping addiction.



What is Shopping Addiction in General?


Shopping addiction, often referred to as compulsive buying disorder or oniomania is a behavioral addiction that involves an overwhelming urge to shop and buy. The sufferers often land up in a cycle of excessive, repetitive buying, leading to adverse consequences.


Key characteristics of a shopping addiction encompass:



  • Compulsive Shopping: An unmanageable craving to shop, resulting in frequent and unnecessary purchases.

  • Impulse Control: Struggling to control the impulse to shop leads to spontaneous and unplanned buying.

  • Excessive Spending: Spending beyond one's financial capabilities, often accumulating significant debt.

  • Emotional Impact: Feelings of guilt, remorse, anxiety, or euphoria associated with shopping.

  • Interference with Daily Life: The addiction interferes with daily responsibilities, relationships, and overall well-being.


What is Online Shopping Addiction?


People may think online shopping addiction, or internet shopping addiction, is about buying an excessive amount of things online and spending more than their earnings. Yes, that's also one symptom of online shopping addiction. But that's not the only aspect.


What are the other traits of online shopping addiction? Here are the symptoms:



  1. Frequently visit online shopping platforms (like Amazon, eBay, or any particular online store) without a specific item in mind, just browsing items.

  2. Often go to online stores for window shopping but not buying anything.

  3. When you feel bored, you often go to online shopping platforms unconsciously.

  4. Buy many unnecessary things online.

If you have one of these traits, be careful; your foot is getting caught in the internet shopping addiction. If you have two symptoms, you may be addicted to internet shopping. If you have three or more, you are most likely addicted to online shopping.


Are You Addicted to Online Window Shopping?


If you have one of the traits numbered 1, 2, or 3, you're addicted to online window shopping.


Also important to note, if you have the trait of buying many things beyond your earnings, it's a clear sign of online shopping addiction.




Risks of Online Shopping Addiction


So, what are the risks of online shopping addiction? Firstly, you will waste a significant amount of your valuable time on shopping platforms. Secondly, you'll spend a considerable amount of money on unnecessary things.


Online shopping addiction involves the risk of wasting time and finances. Therefore, there's an urgency to overcome this addiction.



The Way to Overcoming Online Shopping Addiction


For Online Window Shopping Addicts


If you're an online window shopper who frequently browses online stores without a specific purpose and often ends up not making any purchases, you're an internet addict. A helpful strategy to combat this is applying a digital detox technique, such as habit tracking. This strategy can also be applied to online shopping addicts who spend more than they earn.


The Habit Tracking Technique


Habit tracking is a powerful tool for overcoming online shopping addiction. Carry a notepad and pen, and record each time you notice yourself browsing an online store, especially paying attention to your emotional state. Note how many times you visited, approximately how many minutes you spent, and the emotion that triggered your online shopping addiction (e.g., stress, frustration, or boredom).


This practice will make you more aware of how often you visit these websites, how much time is being wasted, and the emotional state that causes online shopping addiction.


Recognize Your Online Shopping Habits


Whenever you catch yourself browsing an online store, take immediate action—close the tab, turn off your phone, or exit the app. Noticing is a key aspect of overcoming internet shopping addiction because habits often lead us to engage in activities almost without consciousness.



For Online Shopping Addicts Who Spend an Excessive Amount of Money


Ask yourself: If you don't quit buying unnecessary items now, how will it affect you financially, mentally, physically, and in your relationships in the future?


By answering this question, you can create leverage to quit.


Next, stop sabotaging yourself. You might feel guilty and silly for spending so much money on unnecessary things, but self-sabotage doesn't solve any problems. Instead, focus on a 100% solution and 0% problem. Ask empowering questions like, 'How much happiness and mindfulness will I feel when I overcome this addiction?'



Replace Unhealthy Pressure with Healthy Habits


You're feeling pressure to buy things and are addicted to this pressure. To break this cycle, replace the pressure with healthy alternatives. Consider incorporating exercises like running, lifting weights, climbing, or calisthenics. If you want to avoid spending money, calisthenics is a cost-effective option.



Conclusion


Online shopping addiction is a real and growing concern, but it's not insurmountable. By recognizing the signs and implementing strategies like habit tracking, you can break free from the web of online shopping addiction. Remember, it's not about eliminating online shopping, but about developing a healthier and more balanced relationship with it.



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