I was recently asked by a friend, “What’s your best advice to avoid online shopping?”
My answer, probably blunter than expected, was simply, “Close the computer and walk away.”
And that is the truth. If you close the computer and walk away, or put down the phone, you won’t be able to online shop.
Of course, that step is easier said than done.
This week, and the entire coming month, we will be bombarded with countless online messages to buy stuff we don’t need. They will all be strategically placed, crowd-tested, crafted by professionals, and designed to part you with your money.
But this year, probably more than ever, we need to take the step of resisting their appeal.
Online shopping is unique. And the temptation to buy can often be more seductive than shopping in-person in stores.
Consider this: online stores are always open, it’s easier to find individual items, the transaction can be finished in a matter of seconds, often times we don’t even need to pull out a payment card because our computer already has the information stored.
Making it even worse, we often find ourselves shopping at our weakest moments. For example, when we are tired, stressed, bored, rushed, or even inebriated. The thought enters our mind of something we’d like to own, and 30 seconds later it can be purchased and out for delivery.
76% of us shop online. And with the temptation available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, finding the strength to shut the computer, put away the phone, and walk away is not an easy task.
For that reason, it can be helpful to not just put down the phone, but to do so with purpose. Choosing a different activity other than staring at a retail store through a screen helps us put space, time, and energy between the temptation to buy and the actual purchase.
This week, when you feel the impulse to buy something online, close the computer and choose one activity from this list instead.
Ten things we could do instead of online shopping:
1. Go for a walk.
2. Read a chapter of a book.
3. Bake muffins.
4. Take a shower.
5. Play a board game with your kids.
6. Clean the kitchen.
7. Cross an item off your to-do list.
8. Call a family member or friend.
9. Sit quietly with a cup of coffee.
10. Go to bed.
Maybe you’ll find it most helpful to return to the same exercise over and over again this week and month. Maybe you’ll find it helpful to slowly work through each idea one at a time over the coming month.
Or maybe, most likely, this list will spark new ideas for your own life of pursuits and activities this holiday season more worthy of your time and energy than buying physical possessions.
I love that you included go to bed! This is really what we need: get some sleep and get away from your devices!
Peggy Sabau says
My husband and I have a large blended family, so Christmas and birthdays used to be a nightmare to keep up with. For the last 10 years we have pared it down to one small hand-made gift(hubby does wood-crafted items) for the adult children/spouses and money gifts for the grand kids with the twist that the money is hidden in special ways like folded into a puzzle, glass ornament, or jar of candy. The fun for them is to see what the gift-giving gizmo will be each year. One year I hid the money in pre-opened walnuts then sealed them back up and put them in a larger box with regular walnuts. The trick was to see if they could pick open the one with the money inside on the first guess for a prize of an extra $5. Great memories!
As for buffalo N.Y., I just saw on a romantic movie to be really be in the moment, go out lift your face to the snow and close your eyes. LISTEN and FEEL . Best feeling