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#makeITsafePH: Online Shopping Addiction 101

Globe has a new campaign called #makeITsafePH that aims to spread awareness about the responsible use of digital technology. It focuses on cybersecurity and cyber-wellness to educate different consumers in the Philippines to inform them about the potential risks of using the platforms made available via the Internet. 

The goal of the campaign is to provide consumers with the right information necessary to protect themselves from the said risks. The campaign also teaches the public proper online etiquette so that would not become a source of such deplorable behavior. I am happy to be part of this campaign. 

Here is my take on this latest and amazing effort of Globe to #makeITsafePH:

In this modern age of technology, almost everything we want is already within our reach. All we have to do is use our smartphone or laptop to get what we want. If we are hungry, we can easily call up a restaurant and request for food delivery or visit its website to make an online order. If we want to shop but do not have the luxury of time to do it, we can conveniently go online and buy from our favorite e-commerce site. 

For these reasons, we can conclude that the advancements in the field of technology have absolutely made our life more comfortable than ever. As long as we have an Internet connection, everything is going to be okay. It may seem like we have a good life because of the availability of the Internet but let’s face it – it also has some disadvantages. One of which is an online shopping addiction. 

Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of online stores available all over the world? A large number of these businesses can even cater to all existing customers and potential clients around the globe. With the increasing number of online stores created every single day, it is safe to assume that the competition has become tough for the industry players. Because of this, many online entrepreneurs offer big sales and amazing discounts or promotions to their target market. As a result, more people are encouraged to shop online. For some, it even leads to addiction.

What is an online shopping addiction?


Addiction is a negative term, which is usually associated with the words “craving,” “dependency” and “compulsion.” Some experts call it “pathological buying online” addiction. Allow me to quote a portion of the research completed by PLOS ONE entitled “Pathological Buying Online as a Specific Form of Internet Addiction: A Model-Based Experimental Investigation.”

Pathological buying (PB), compulsive buying, buying addiction, and oniomania are different terminologies describing the same phenomenon in which individuals are preoccupied with shopping, suffer from recurrent buying impulses or episodes, and lose control over their buying behavior.

What are the signs and symptoms?


The following characteristics indicate that someone is suffering from this online shopping addiction:
  • Choosing to shop online instead of fulfilling duties or obligations at work 
  • Having financial troubles or issues because of unpaid credit card bills arising from online shopping activities
  • Experiencing extreme sadness for failure to catch a limited time offer or sale
  • Having difficulty in sleeping at night
  • Feeling like one cannot stop himself from shopping online
  • Sacrificing relationships with family members, friends and even loved ones because of irresponsible online shopping activities
  • Spending less time doing more meaningful activities because of online shopping 
  • Thinking of online shopping endlessly


How can one get over from this addiction?


Fortunately, there are still ways on how one can overcome online shopping addiction. If you believe that you have a pathological buying online attitude, make sure to follow these courses of action:

1. Find your passion. Think of other things or activities that can keep you preoccupied so that you can stop thinking about buying some items online. Keep yourself busy by doing more of what you love and none of those that can only cause troubles in your life.

2. Talk to a friend. Try to open up about your problems regarding your shopping addiction. Take note that the more you keep it in yourself, the more difficult it would be to take it out of your system. Find someone whom you can be honest about. 

3. Think before hitting “buy now.” Take all the time you need in making an online purchase. As already mentioned above, online shopping is actually not a bad thing. It only becomes dangerous if you are already addicted to it. Do not rush in putting items on your online cart. Think twice before you make an order.

4. Know wants from needs. Keep in mind that just because an item is on sale does not mean that it is affordable. Be smart enough to know the significant distinctions among the things you need to have from those that you merely want. Of course, the former shall be a top priority while the latter can be foregone. 

5. Remember your financial status. Learn how to assess your financial status. Do you have enough savings in the bank? Can you afford to buy all the things you want online? If the answer is in the affirmative, then shop all you want as long as you can pay for it. On the other hand, if you are already on the brink of experiencing financial collapse, then maybe learn how to control your shopping urges.

6. Seek professional help. There are different forms of online shopping addiction. If what you have is a severe kind, the best thing to do is to seek professional help. Look for an expert who can help you in recovering from addiction.


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