by Kelsey van Sitters

Covid 19, a name that is all too familiar, has brought about many changes, one of which is a freshly-tuned generation of shopaholics. From clothing to gadgets, North America to Australia. Online shopping has taken the world by storm.

It begs the question: If online shopping is a storm, it has consequences, but also benefits and it is your choice to decide if it is a phenomenon of progress or regression.

Picture this: Comfortable sweats and Tee, with your favourite series blaring on the screen, but on your lap a personal Mall of Africa – all within the comfort of your familiar four walls.

You are browsing for that item that piques your interest and with a simple click of a button and keys, it is on the way to your humble abode. In the process, you have saved time, because you have not had to trudge the various aisles hoping to find anything to your liking.

Filters that narrow your findings to cater to your personal styles and fashion choices have made the shopping experience less frustrating. If the shoes you wanted are sold out at a specific store, do not worry! Just change sites and you will find the shoes without the fretting of having to drive to another district to hunt them down.

Your shopping is your secret. You maintain the idea of privacy by not exposing your shopping cart to the rest of the world and remain in silent satisfaction with your clothing choices. This is the ultimate online shopping convenience at your doorstep.

You wait patiently for your package to arrive. Days pass, then weeks and even months. The risk of phony guarantees of delivery is ever-present.

Masses of orders rush through sites and are sent to factories which manufacture the ordered items at any cost – damaging the environment with toxic gases, pollution and plastic packaging.

The term ‘shopaholic’ originated from the individual’s addiction to shopping which has become increasingly relevant, with all the time to browse site after site. Money is spent religiously and your pocket empties steadily.

When you have spent an astronomical amount of time online, you may lose sight of life itself. Being online is always risky business, especially when financial details are lingering in cyber space, making you susceptible to fraud and cyber criminality. Shipping and shopping from outside your city or country, causes you to slow your support for local businesses that help improve the economy in your country. This puts local businesses in competition with international stores, which have worldwide consumers.

The Ying and the Yang of online shopping are obvious. The freedom of choice is yours: To be a staunch supporter of shopping in progress or recognising the many wide-reaching disadvantages of e-commerce.