This essay is for my English Class. It's about obsession with shopping. Please review this so I can fix my mistakes.
Shopping Obsession: Have we become Addicted to Shopping?
In our daily lives, we eat, drink, sleep, communicate, and most importantly, shop. We shop because we need to buy our needs such as food and clothes, and our wants such as games, electronics, and gardening tools. Those listed items the average person in this world would buy almost daily and without people shopping, the economy would plummet. However, there is a dark side to shopping and that is called the shopping addiction. The addiction would make people obsessed with shopping and that can cause a lot of problems for those certain individuals who have this obsession. But those people who are obsessed have their own reasons why they keep shopping. These reasons could be peer pressure, low self-esteem, and keeping up with the trends.
One of the reasons why a certain number of individuals tend to over shop is peer pressure. One example is my personal experience in elementary school. Back in early 1999, Pok�mon was very popular at that time and a lot of people had the trading cards, games, toys, etc. Whenever recess was indoors, kids would play with Pok�mon cards and have fun. Since I was unpopular in my class and had the desire to be popular, I then decided to buy the Pok�mon cards, games, etc. I started to gain some popularity but that became short lived since in 2000, the fad was going away and only a minority were still fans. I was part of the minority until 2002. A similar experience happened again in 2002 when Yu-Gi-Oh gained popularity but at that time, Yu-Gi-Oh didn't achieve much success as Pok�mon. To sum this up, I was buying these items because I wanted to be popular and was also under peer pressure. I finally realized (although it was at age 15) that buying items doesn't make friends, it's the personality of me that can make a friend or not.
Another reason why people tend to over shop is low self esteem. Low self esteem can make someone shop because, according to Judith Wright, people tend to shop because they want to "escape their emotions". Escaping their emotions means that people shop since they want to feel good. "Retail therapy" is a term that Wright uses for people that want to shop because these individuals feel "bored, angry, or sad". That isn't a good reason to shop since their self-esteem is only going to get even worse. The reasons why it would get worse, because it doesn't solve their personal problems, it only makes them spend a lot of money and even worse is credit card/financial debt. The only thing to do when dealing with low self-esteem is to share their experience with someone and express the emotions. Not only will you feel good, but also that can reduce your time in shopping for things that are completely unnecessary.
Keeping up with the trend is one reason why people shop a lot. The main cause on how people keep up with trends is advertisements. According to Lutz, "one problem advertisers have when they try to convince you that the product they are pushing is really different from other" (135). With that in mind, the advertisers have to sell a product or service based on the demographics and the target market and one of the ways doing that are "weasel words". "Advertisers use weasel words to appear to be making a claim for a product, when in fact they are making no claim at all" (Lutz, 135). This means that the advertisers say one thing but mean the other thing or nothing at all. Examples of these weasel words are "help", "virtually spotless", "new and improved", "acts", "like", and the most famous one are the unfinished words. What does this all mean? It means nothing at all. The main objective why advertisers sell is to make profit. The brand names can also cause people to shop since they want something from a certain brand. In Rushkoff's words, a boy wanted to buy sneakers and he was planning to buy Nike since "he thought of Nike as the most utilitarian and scientifically advanced shoe", and left the other brands "Puma, Converse, and Adidas" in the dust since they boy "wasn't even alive in the 70s". This says that the people will buy something only if it's in the trend. According to Professor Di Pasquale, he shared an experience in my English class that his daughter "wanted to buy sweatpants from Abercrombie & Fitch, because it was in style". This explains why people tend to shop to keep up with the trend.
To conclude, the reasons why the certain numbers of individuals tend to get obsessed with shopping because of peer pressure of making new friends, low self esteem that makes people shop for therapeutic purposes, and to keep up with the trends. Shopping isn't exactly a bad thing but the obsession of it is very bad. "Over consumption actually detracts from people's happiness and society's well being" (Samuelson, 92). This says that you should shop because you want to feel happy all the time but shop because it's a necessity.