Seduced by the hunt: confessions of an online shopper

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It always starts innocently enough. You see a blouse on Instagram and go searching for it on the web. You’ll just peruse a little, see what you can find. You experience surges of delight when your badass googling abilities deliver just what you’re looking for. What begins as curiosity becomes a ravenous pursuit. A colossal challenge posed by the universe.

Now we’re getting somewhere, you think. So you start Command + T’ing the shit of out of those google results. Suddenly you realize you have a dozen tabs open, so you switch gears, analyzing each result, tab by tab. Hmm, not the right color. Eh, this one looks cheap. Perfect — but waaay too expensive. Damn! After wading through all dozen tabs, you’re back where you started with your google search. You begin a new search using slightly different keywords, really honing in on your prey. I mean purchase!

You search and search and search. Selecting, opening, analyzing each item’s main points (style, comfort, practicality, price). The really good one is often prohibitively too expensive. So you’re left with a handful of sub-par options. You become suddenly overwhelmed by choices with no clear winner. A lot of similar shit. Annoyingly similar shit!

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This is the plateau. Those surges of delight are few and far between at this point. However, you’re committed to the hunt. Addicted, almost. You will find it. So you power through. Maybe you distract yourself by looking at something else. A different item or you switch it up by searching on Pinterest for ideas.

At some point, usually when your energy is almost depleted, you are faced with two options. Impulse buy or abandon the mission. You don’t want to be a failure. And if you’re being honest, you also don’t want to spend tomorrow night scouring the internet.

It’s hard to leave this pursuit without a reward for all of that hard work. So you often scramble for your wallet and just place the order. When the transaction is complete, you feel one last surge of delight. A present! In the mail! It’s on its way! And then a little concern: hope I made the right choice.

You snap back into the physical world, you drink some water. You re-engage with your surroundings. You feel relieved and very tired.

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At least, that was my experience when I got into online shopping. I must be very careful now! No more jumping on a special promo that ends tonight. It’s not saving me money if the item gets disregarded for its lack of practicality.

I’ve finally made peace with my closet and that means freedom from the allure of online shopping. Focusing that much on my wardrobe just takes up too much time. I want time for stuff that actually makes me feel good afterwards. ✴

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