I really don’t like shopping; I think I have mentioned this before. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy buying the stuff I need. Alhamdullillah (All Praise is for Allah) I really do like going out and getting the stuff that I need, and stuff that I want as well. But I could never understand how people could spend hours and hours walking around in a shopping mall, going in and out of every single store. It’s madness in my opinion. Not that I haven’t fallen victim to this type of crazy shopping myself, to be honest I also have my moments of ‘shopaholism’. I remember when we my family and I went to Egypt a few years ago, it was so great to see fashionable Islamic clothing that we just went mad. My brothers were extremely irritated when we spent like about 4 to 5 hours in one particular shop. On a regular basis however, if I can avoid shopping then I do, and when I do have to go shopping I always try and make sure it’s on a week day when the shopping mall is quiet.
This is why I was particularly shocked when I watched a news clip the other evening about how crazy shopping can get over the Christmas period. I think it was Sky News that we were watching and they showed how people were going crazy shopping in America. One woman pepper-sprayed a whole crowd of people to get what she wanted; there were also mini stampedes in some supermarkets. Just watching the video clips on how people were “losing it” to get good shopping deals, disturbed me. I mean really, all the commotion over “stuff”, and “discounts”. Now, I know that people are doing Christmas shopping and they have a lot of gifts to buy for their loved ones, but it still is just material things and losing your dignity to get those things doesn’t make any sense at all.
Then a few days ago there was a bomb scare at the shopping mall new my home. They still don’t know what the motive was but there was a bag found with some explosive material or whatever it was, the police were very cryptic, they were obviously trying to reduce the panic. Fortunately nothing happened, some shop keepers saw the bag, became curious and alerted the police. Although the reason for this is not known, it seems that it could’ve been so that the place could be robbed or whatever it is. How crazy is that? Once again, it’s all about material things.
All this shopping hype makes me wonder about things. Year after year, month after month, week after week, people still continue to shop and shop. The world is in economic depression, but still the shopping centres are always full. New things get introduced on a regular basis, and of course people have to have the new things, and if you don’t have money for all the things, it’s okay, because there’s this nice little plastic thing, called a credit card.
The ploy at getting people to buy things is reaching all time highs. Previously when a store wanted you to take out an account with them they’d send you a letter telling you about all the benefits of opening an account with them. Nowadays they send you the letter with a personalised card. All you have to do is go into the store and “buy” something and the card will get activated. You don’t even need to fill out forms so they can check your credit status. The cards they send are beautiful, with lovely designs and colours on it, but the best thing about it is Your Own Name, printed perfectly on the beautiful card. Who wouldn’t be tempted to go into the store and use this? Especially when you see all the nice things that are displayed in their shop windows, naturally you’ll be itching to just go in there and use the card, right- telling yourself that you’ll be able to pay it off in small amounts so it’s no big deal. This is why I cut up those lovely cards as soon as I get them-temptation is a really bad thing, you know.
But anyway, there are many ways to get people to keep shopping; this is not the only method. Sales and discounts, brilliant advertising, free vouchers... I’m sure you’re already thinking of things you can add to this list.
So as far as shopping is concerned, it seems that as long as people are alive, people will continue to shop. Sometimes I think that perhaps this is just a part of life, and then I look back at history and find that people didn’t shop for things. They had simple lives, where they made what they needed, looked after animals, from which they further got their needs, made their own bread, etc, etc.... SO shopping then is a distinct feature of modern day society, and while I have to admit that everything is very easy and much less time consuming, I still can’t help feeling that way too much time and energy goes into shopping. That’s me though- I am a self-confessed “non-shopaholic” after all, so I guess you can expect these types of thoughts from me.
Image from here