Shopping: An Obsession

Black Friday shopping is like falling through the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole. Once people see the “sale” sign they go through a chain of compulsive spending which drowns most of their savings

Black Friday shopping is like falling through the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole. Once people see the “sale” sign they go through a chain of compulsive spending which drowns most of their savings

Lancy Shi, Photojournalist

Whether or not you enjoy it, no one can deny that shopping is an essential part of everyday life. For some people, it totally depends on what product they are buying. An example would be that some people only enjoy book shopping while others can find joy even when they are shopping for groceries. In any case, pretty much anybody can find a shop they enjoy and can spend hours in, which is why sales and deals are important to so many people. Especially during the holiday season, more and more people have been looking around trying to find the perfect deal to buy their dream product, resulting in the concept of shopping being almost like an obsession. Whether someone is rich or poor, they are still looking for the best holiday deals, and they are constantly reconsidering if they really got a bang for their buck. 

No matter how “down to earth” and “wise” a person is, money is probably still important to them to some extent. Even though money can’t directly buy happiness, it can buy products that can create happiness. For example, if someone loves skiing, they would probably work hard to save enough to go to a good ski resort or upgrade their skis and snow boots. If someone loves art, they might pour hours of their time, energy, and savings into buying art supplies and going to art museums. In any case, the root of the shopping obsession comes from hobbies and the emotional tendency to seek pleasure in something. Because even though people like to say money is meaningless, they fail to realize that without money, many dreams cannot be achieved. 

When looking through Amazon or other shopping websites, people usually feel a wave of different emotions, which is exactly what the companies want people to feel. Mostly, it is a mixture of excitement, disappointment, and maybe even a little bit of confusion. Since human beings operate on emotions, it is very easy to grab people by using colors and bold letters. The presentation of the shopping items can create these extreme emotions that prompts people to buy things they normally wouldn’t buy. Since there are bold red letters saying “limited time sale”, people start to question whether or not it is worth it to buy despite the fact that the product itself isn’t anything special. This then creates a series of repeated obsessive purchases without much thought. At last, when the products are brought home, the consumer starts to realize how much money they have wasted.

The marketing companies understand this obsession more than anything, and they definitely know how to make customers think they are getting an awesome deal. Since the winter season brings lots of joy and celebrations, there is no doubt that people will be looking to buy presents for their loved ones and themselves. On top of that, there are also people looking to refresh their lifestyles, so they end up looking for new carpets, new TVs, and new jewelry because they want to treat themselves for getting through yet another year. What companies usually do is slowly raise the price around early fall, and then, when winter comes they drop the price so that it looks like the prices are lower than ever. In actuality, it only dropped a little from the usual price, which proves how salesmen trick customers for more money. This proves that not only are the consumers greedy for money, but the salesmen too. 

Ultimately, we all have a lesson to learn when it comes to shopping, especially during the holiday sales season. Shopping brings out many positive emotions, and Isabella Collins (10)  says that she “loves shopping because it relieves stress from school”. Obsessive shopping can be wasteful, but it also brings people happiness. Since YLHS students have been working so hard all year, don’t we deserve an end of the year shopping spree? Ultimately, no matter what shopping habit you have, there is no doubt that it is an important part of life, and shopping mistakes can teach people lessons that can hopefully improve their lifestyles.