‘Manasi, 24 hour sale is back!’ ‘
‘Hey Manasi, Checkout the Top Deals of this week’
‘9 Exciting Deals. Valid for Today Only.’
‘Thursday Thunder – Additional 15% OFF On Your Order
‘More Baby Products Only for YOU’
Phew! This is just too much pressure. What should be my next move? Which e-mail to open? Where to spend my money next? Decisions, decisions, decisions….
It is really shocking how quickly I have developed a habit that is compulsive and obsessive. The World Wide Web has engulfed me in its “web of shopping” and what can I say I am hooked and addicted! How did this happen? Hmm, let me try and explain if I can. Last year this time I was an “online shopping virgin”. I just could not understand all the fuss about shopping online. Why would anyone want to shop online and let go of the physical experience and delight of shopping at your favourite high street, mall or neighbourhood store. For me, shopping is an exhilarating and liberating experience (you guessed it right – I AM A WOMAN ;)). The delight of discovering a new store opening in your favourite mall and rushing to checkout the wares or the thrill of window shopping, trying out new stuff and making the purchase physically was the REAL deal and not by browsing things online and putting them in a virtual shopping cart. No sir, online shopping was not for me or so I thought.
Then what changed? The truth is that I have become a compulsive online shopper ever since I became a mother! Sounds weird doesn’t it. What does becoming a mommy have to do with shopping online? Well, a lot! For starters, you are largely home bound and exhausted in the first few weeks after giving birth and really do not have the time or energy to go shopping. You have a new person in your life – your little infant and want to play dress up and buy all sorts of things for the baby from essentials like diapers and baby wipes to clothes, baby gear and all things to do with babies. Also while you are nursing or rocking your baby to sleep you have the “oh! so wonderful smartphone or ipad/tablet” in your hand (balancing baby in one hand and phone in the other is an art you learn pretty quickly) and have enough time on hand to browse for your much needed baby products online. Then there are the superb deals – everything online comes at a discount and some of the deals are really very good. It is because of these awesome deals that I buy pampers, baby wipes and a lot of other baby stuff online. So it is true – online shopping is really convenient and convenience is a prime consideration when you have a baby. But then it is also compulsive and highly addictive and strangely liberating. You can buy almost anything at the click of a button, pay nothing (thanks to cash on delivery option in India) and have it delivered at your doorstep and also returned if you don’t like it. It really is super cool. BUT WAIT here comes the bad part….
While online shopping is convenient, you find that you are now the target for all sorts of advertisements, discounts, promotions and new offers from sites you have shopped at previously and so you are routinely bombarded with emails on what you MUST buy. It feels like you are being stalked and strangely by someone who knows a whole lot about you. Infact, the worst thing is that sites that you have never even bought from start sending you spam. All of a sudden ads of products you bought in the past or were looking to buy pop up in all the social media sites, in your google search results pane, in your email side bar and even while you read your daily news article (s). SIC! It really is a little eerie and a bit too much.
Soon, there is the realization that your most frequent visitor is the courier/post man and the people at home are so used to a package being delivered at your doorstep every day that they stop asking what you ordered and just frown unless it is a gift for them! Your credit card bills get bigger and bigger and bigger and ofcourse, by now you remember your credit card number, expiry date and CVV number even if you do not recall your husband’s mobile number! You also have the weirdest calendar reminders whether it is for WOW Wednesday offers on Flipkart or the 11 minutes at 11 pm sale at Firstcry or the Deal of the Day at Amazon 😉 Sometimes you even forget you ordered something and it is delivered at your doorstep! And lastly, when you type www on your internet browser it automatically assumes you want to be redirected to your favourite e-commerce website. I can just go on and on on the side effects of being a compulsive online shopper. But wait a minute, did I hear something? Ding dong, ding dong….someone is at the door. Looks like it is a package. Yes, it is from Amazon. Thank god those pampers have come in time and just before I ran out of my supply and what do we have here…seems like I got a baby shampoo free! Yippee, Oh how I love online shopping. God Bless the Internet!