Feeding online consumerism

Almost everyone in my generation has been exposed to the world of online shopping. This could be coined as the age of Amazon.

Why is this? Several things are the cause of it. First of all—and this is possibly the most obvious of reasons—we are in the age of technology.

Everything that many of us have ever known has centered around technology. When I was younger, I remember the dial-up connection that helped my family and me stay connected to the world. Online shopping was not very prominent with anyone back then simply because the slow connection would not allow it. As the need for a faster connection grew, so did the need for more opportunities to use that connection to its full potential.

Thus, online shopping was born. It has been a struggle though; from looking at listings from third parties with the help of search engines to the global market we find present today.

Everything seems to be cheaper when it is purchased online—or so consumers are led to believe. As long as consumers research and add up shipping and taxes, they can take advantage of a great deal without having to leave the comfort of their living rooms. They only have to wait a few days to reap the rewards.

This also helps the struggling postal system. The USPS has been on the cusp of extinction for a long time. With the rise of technology, such as the ability to pay bills online or to email a friend, the USPS lost a huge bulk of their revenue.

Many parties who buy and sell online use the USPS to have things shipped and delivered. This gives the USPS a leg to stand on, although the struggle to stay afloat is still present.

Now comes the psychological side of things. I cannot tell you how excited I am when I check my mailbox everyday to see if the object I ordered has arrived. I am not sure why I feel anxious, but sometimes I will find myself thinking, “Maybe my new phone case came in today,” and I get excited about the possibility that it is sitting in my mailbox.

With bidding sites like eBay, the power is given directly two the two parties that control the price. Bidders can choose to bid on an object they desire, and since most bids start in the lower price range, people are more likely to return to bid again…and again…and again.

Let’s face it. There is an addictive rush in bidding and winning an auction.

It all boils down to two things: consumerism and technology. We, can choose to bow down to these needs to win bids or buy material objects that seem to be at a discounted price, or we can moderate the intake of our possessions.

While online shopping has its benefits, there can be downfalls. Providing credit card information is risky everywhere—especially when you don’t know who is watching. How much are we willing to put on the line for that next hot, new deal?

Marie McBurnett

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