Do You Have an Online Shopping Addiction?

Buyer Beware

I love online shopping. If I had the money I’d be sending myself little gifts every day. No wonder people are addicted to it. It’s like buying yourself a present. But when it actually arrives it feels like someone sent you a present. The odd time I have bought something online the best part was looking forward to the day it actually arrives, then unpacking it and seeing what extras they sent along with my purchase. (Usually nothing more than a free sample of something, a coupon for more spending, brochures or other sales related stuff).

They say it’s retail therapy when you go shopping to make yourself feel better. It’s almost cute if that’s all it is. However, when the credit cards are filling up and you have to choose which bills to pay and plan how you will have enough for groceries but still you’re out there buying more stuff for retail therapy… something is broken. It’s not cute when it becomes an addiction and it doesn’t really make you feel better. Also, with a shopping addiction there is the problem of what to do with all that stuff, where does it all go inside the available living space?

My best advice to anyone who is getting too involved with online shopping is to go ahead and shop, but stop at actually purchasing anything. Become an online window shopper instead. All the fun of looking for the bargain, or the right thing but none of the financial burden. You don’t even have to worry about sizes, colours or whether shipping is an extra charge.

I also love to spend time shopping for freeware, open source or gadgets like addons for my web browser, plugins for my WordPress blog, etc. I do stick to things I will actually use and anything I don’t care for I delete right away rather than having it hanging around.

These are all free shopping, no download required if you just look for the latest interesting thing and don’t choose any of them. But, even if you end up downloading and installing a mass of freebie stuff – it’s pretty easy to delete it all later. One thing to be careful about – don’t download from risky sites which might be free but come with extras you don’t want. Do some research and find the best sites to shop, just as you would for any other online shopping.

Signs of Online Shopping Addiction

Jobs, families and friends are neglected.

Financially they are over extended, credit cards are loaded and they may be borrowing money from family and friends to pay for ordinary things.

They plan their day around waiting for the mail to be delivered.

Even if you get them away from it they can’t get shopping off their mind.

Feeling lost or out of control when credit cards are unavailable for use.

They have a lot of stuff they don’t need and don’t really have a place for.

They have clothes, cosmetics, books, etc. never used and yet they are still shopping and buying more.

They lie and make excuses for the things they buy.

Feeling happy and good while shopping, then let down and upset after the shopping high wears off.

Repetitively doing the same things far more than necessary. Checking prices, comparing prices on items you just looked at the day (or hour) before and expecting or feeling let down when nothing has changed.

Help for Online Shopping Addiction

Consider what triggers the shopping: boredom, anger, disappointment, fear, nervousness, or habit.

Begin setting limits on how much you will spend. Stick to your limits.

Remove your financial information from all the shopping sites. That way, you at least have to take the time to input the information all over again and this will give you time to reconsider making the purchase.

Have a list of things you could do instead of giving into the temptation to shop online.

Set limits on your time spent online. Put the Internet on holiday service to give yourself time to recover and become less dependent on it.

Keep a journal of your online habits, let yourself see how much time and money you are actually spending on this.

Get a shopping buddy so you can both work on getting your habit/ addiction in better control. Be accountable to each other and keep in touch daily.

Try to take a digital sabbatical, see how long you can last without going online and find other things to do with your time instead.

Become an online window shopping instead. Don’t buy anything, just enjoy the shopping part.

Have a goal in mind, a reason for cutting your online shopping. What is the most important reason for you to kick the habit or get your shopping under control? What is the benefit which you are most looking forward to?

Getting Compulsive Online Shopping Under Control

Google Play for US Only?

Google Play says:

If you’re buying an app in a currency other than U.S. dollars, you can make purchases on Google Wallet using any credit, debit or gift card with the following logos:

Visa
Visa Electron
MasterCard
JCB

Google Wallet says:

You can use Google Wallet in stores, online, and to send money in the United States. Outside of the United States, Google Wallet is available to purchase on Google Play in over 125 countries, and to purchase online in over 160 countries and territories.

Dear Google,

What do you expect me to do? !!!!

I don’t use credit cards but that doesn’t really seem to matter since using either Google Play or Google Wallet seems only for people in the US, with US bank accounts. Anyone else is shuffled between the two until they give up because neither will work without being able to use one or the other, or both.

Can someone at Google sort this out?

Fat, Ugly or Slutty

Some players like to send creepy, disturbing, insulting, degrading and/or just plain rude messages to other online players, usually women.

We think this is funny.

Why do they send them? There are a few theories. But instead of getting offended, we offer a method for people to share these messages and laugh together.

If having these messages posted online makes someone think twice about writing and sending a detailed description of their genitals, great!

And if not? We’ll all have another submission to laugh at. Feel free to send us your own at submissions@fatuglyorslutty.com. While the site is currently very xbox message-heavy, we do accept all messages, no matter what the game! PS3 players, PC players, and Wii players, don’t feel left out, we want your messages, too!

Fat, Ugly or Slutty.

Energizer Advanced Lithium Batteries are Dead

My note to Energizer:

I have a pair of Advanced Lithium batteries, expiry date 03/2019. One of them has rusted out inside the remote control for the TV. They are no longer functional. Plus they have damaged the remote. From what I have read on your site they should have lasted much longer. How do I get these 2 AAA batteries replaced through Energizer? Also, will new batteries work now that the batteries have caused damage to the electronic device?

What do you do with dead batteries? I tried scraping the rust off and got them to work twice more. Now they are doing nothing. Annoying because you can’t buy just a pack of two when you go to the store. So there are two more somewhere, I just don’t know where. I don’t really care to use batteries from the same pack and risk more damage, so it’s not vital to find them. If I did keep them.

There is nothing else in the house which runs on AAA batteries. I’m careful not to get other sizes because I hate buying a battery which will only work for one thing. You end up never being able to just buy a pack of two so you’re paying double for the batteries right from the start.

Anyway, I don’t know if I can freeze these, dip them in vinegar, or anything to get them working. I wrote to Energizer but likely it will take days and then all I will get is a form mail reply worth absolutely nothing.

Carmageddon Reincarnation Should be Available Soon

Carmageddon t-shirt

I asked if they could make the donations for the new Carmageddon game available for PayPal last year when it was on KickStarter. Today I found they actually did something about it. I don’t know how long it’s been available. I paid my $20 donation today. I hope it doesn’t turn out badly. When you sign up you agree it’s a donation and you won’t necessarily get a thing for it.

Has the Internet Made us Greedy?

I think the Internet has made people greedier in a way. We used to have more patience and be used to waiting for things. Not just business sort of stuff like phone calls, letters, communication in general. But, even personal things like waiting to read your favourite magazine once a month. Or, the delight of finding a painting, or some other illustration which has everything you love just the right way. It used to be once a decade you would happen to find something like that. Or, that perfect jewellery, furniture, wedding accessory, etc.

Now, with the access to the Internet we find great images and ideas almost every time we look for them. There is so much more and so much more is all so much more easier to find. It’s designed to be easy to find. We are spoiled and kind of greedy. Once something gets easy we just expect more. Almost no one is ever happy with what they have after all. Everyone just wants more.

Have we crossed some kind of line? Are we becoming a selfish and greedy bunch? I wonder what our ancestors would think of our lifestyle. Would they wish they had our indulgences and our easy access to so much – or would they see how much less we really appreciate all that we have.

Do Not Fear the Linux

I wrote this originally in March, 2012. It didn’t get finished but I’m posting it anyway now. It’s become a bit dated when it comes to what I’m working on and what I’m working with.

Why do people stick with MS Windows? I understand the fear of change, the lack of ambition to move from the status quo when things aren’t “all that bad”. But, Linux is free, it doesn’t get attacked with malware, worms and etc. I run Ubuntu Linux which is updated more often than Windows. Ubuntu puts out two new major upgrades (new versions) each year. They have a schedule for them. Plus, it’s free, did I mention that? You can reinstall Linux, you can try other versions of Linux from other companies and decide which suits you as a user of the OS.

The only downside I have found after 2 years of running Linux is not being able to use some of my old Windows based software. But, that’s my own laziness. I could use a Linux add-on called Wine. I’ve read a bit about it. You can somehow use all or most of your Windows software, run on Linux with Wine as the intermediary. Free too, of course.

I haven’t touched Wine though. I only miss the games once in awhile. If I really craved them I’d do something about it. Meanwhile, all the software I like for building websites, creating graphics, etc is available from different sources. Free too, as open source most often. I do find Ubuntu Linux is picky about letting me download software from the web. If I work within Ubuntu’s Software Centre we all get what we want. But, downloading from the web doesn’t always work. Ubuntu will, now and then, deny me the files I want to load up. So sometimes I’m running an older version for awhile, until Ubuntu’s Software Centre catches up and sends me the update in the auto updates from the Update Manager. It does keep track of the software I’m running, without me having to do anything.

I really don’t miss MS Windows at all. Ubuntu Linux looks like Windows. My web browsers run the same as ever, look the same as ever. However, MS IExplorer won’t run. But that shouldn’t be a surprise, right? I just thought it was funny at the time. I had seen a post about the new features for MS IExploer and thought I would take a look. I forgot I was running Linux; forgot or just didn’t think about it being the ‘enemy’ OS.

I thought I would make a list of some of the software I’m using these days. Mostly for myself. Likely I won’t think of a bunch of them until later.

KompoZer – Instead of MS FrontPage (I had an old version of FrontPage which I still like and will keep the CD even though I can’t use it).

KSnapshot

Shotwell Photo Manager

Filezilla – Which is the same program I was using for FTP before I changed to Linux. So no real adjustment there. It runs and looks just the same for either OS.

LibreOffice – I’ve only used it once. I’m just not that into huge Office software. I end up using a plain text Notepad file when I write. Most places I post my writing have an automatic spellecheck to give me that feature. The other Office features I just don’t use, never really have.