Online Shopping – Stress Or Therapy?

“Seeking and finding just the right items for you, family members and friends is a pleasure-filled experience. Women often envision a wide range of possibilities – comfort, delight, or perhaps knowledge – that the gift is meant to provide, often investing large amounts of time making their choices.” This quote was taken from Shopping As Therapy: Good Health Comes In Small Packages, By Pat Hyland. I actually stumbled across this article while looking through It was fascinating to me. I always tease with my husband that he is the hunter/gatherer of our marriage; however, maybe he is not the only one!

The article also included this quote, “We use shopping as therapy, reward, bribery, pastime, as an excuse to get out of the house, as a way to troll for potential loved ones, as entertainment, as a form of education or even worship, as a way to kill time”. This was taken from Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, by Paco Underhill. I think the entire concept of shopping therapy may have merits. From what I have observed, we do not need to leave the house to help ourselves feel better.

Online shopping can give us the same experience. As a woman who does not have a lot of daylight hours to devote to malls and department stores, I love internet shopping. In my younger days I would have had a great time searching through rack after rack for the perfect piece of clothing, on sale of course. Now that I have more responsibilities I do my trolling while on lunch at work or in some spare time at home. I may not leave the “store” with a bag full of goodies but I feel great nevertheless. I get to feel the excitement and joy of my purchase all over again when the package containing my efforts arrives.

Of course, this does not mean that we need to jump on the internet and spend ourselves silly. As with anything good, take it in moderation. Be sure to stick to your budget. Half the fun of using the internet is the opportunity shoppers have to make sure they are getting a good product at the best price. That is our hunting phase, so make it count! Granted, once we have found a few sites that we like and know are reputable it is normal for us to stick to our comfort zone.

Shopping can also be a good learning experience. I have a teenage daughter who probably would like to see shopping become some sort of Olympic event. Thankfully, I have a sister-in-law who agrees and they can hunt together. She would like to work me over at least once a week for shopping money. Shopping for school clothes is the big fall event at our house. Last year I tried an experiment. I gave her a chunk of money and she had to get what she needed out of it. She came home with some great buys and some not so great buys that she had to live with for several months. This year she checked the internet for great deals before she did anything else. She stretched her dollars much farther! Shopping for therapy or fun, either way works!