At some point or another in our lives we’ve treated ourselves by ordering something online because lets face it, Durango is not the best place to shop for all necessities. Some may order sports gear, some may order new electronics like speakers, others like clothes and accessories. Some might online shop to find what they need while others treat themselves to a full blown shopping sprees. While online shopping is great, it has also been shown to be highly addictive. Do we shop because we want new things or are we shopping because we love that feeling of getting a package in the mail? Do we secretly like the antsy feeling that accompanies the anticipation of something? Anticipation brakes down to the same three categories as addiction: Cravings, tolerance, and withdrawal. From these addictive qualities may come anxiety disorders.
Ever craved a gooey warm brownie with melty chocolate chips? Ooooo yeah, we know what cravings are. Cravings are a dominate motivation that drives us to give into our desires regardless of the rationality. This means that new mountain bike, those new goggles with exchangeable lenses, that new jacket that would look so good on us, we crave it. The cravings make us cave and buy that bike, those goggles, or that jacket regardless of what is in our sad little college kid bank account. It’s not rational for us to even be looking online at all the goodies we could buy yet time and time again we get online and browse for hours. Though we are not craving something physical, we are craving that feeling anticipation gives us thus we can call this craving a “craving of the mind.” When our mind craves something, that means we think about it constantly as opposed to craving a drug which would be a craving of the body.
Being a student at the fort, we know a thing or two about tolerance. You know, that realization you have when 7 beers doesn’t give you the same feeling it used to. Tolerance is the levels our body builds up to reduce the effect of a drug if the drug is used often enough. With online shopping, tolerance can reduce the excitement we used to feel when our package arrived if we keep ordering new things. This can cause us to buy more frequently and spend more per order to try and achieve that same feeling of excitement that we felt at delivery.
Withdrawals are the distress we feel when something we’ve become addicted to isn’t there. Ever been without your significant other for an extended period of time? We tend to miss the things we’ve gotten use to like their smile, their kisses, their presence. If you’ve experienced this longing, you’ve experienced withdrawals. When experiencing withdrawals from online shopping (meaning nothing is in the mail), one might experience more intense cravings to shop. Even passing seeing a UPS man or walking past the place where packages are typical delivered will kick up cravings to shop. We may feel restless, eat more, or feel anxious when going through withdrawals. Incredibly, all this fuss is just because we don’t have a new goodies on the way.
If you think about it, anxiety breaks down to excessive anticipation. For example, anticipating something uncertain like a phone call for an interview could cause one to feel anxious. These anxiety feelings become disorders when we become fixated on it. I know when I have something in the mail I religiously check my e-mail for shipping conformation or a tracking number so I can make sure the package is close.
It’s silly that there is so much fuss over waiting for a package but our brains are wired to anticipate new things, it’s how we survive. Like I said online shopping is great, but be careful of the addictive qualities of shopping or you may be left feeling anxiety… and broke.