‘I needed a treat’.
‘It was too good to turn down’
‘It’s my patriotic duty’.
Have you ever used one of these phrases to justify a ridiculous purchase? That lime-green jumpsuit that looked so good on the rail. The half-price coat that was two sizes too small. Buy one get fourteen guavas free. The new TV that your even your grandkids will be repaying.
In bad economic times you’d expect us to shop less and not more. Yet whilst we are cutting back on shopping centres, we are spending more in the virtual sphere. Last week, for example, QVC, the biggest shopping channel announced that its viewing figures had increased by 10 per cent over the last year – amounting to a cool £387.2 million. That’s a lot of animal fleeces and mop-heads.
As we tighten our purse strings, so marketeers are finding new ways of persuading us to part with our cash.Virtual shopping for example, relies upon what psychologists call a ‘parasocial’ relationship between viewers and the TV or internet. Presenters and web hosts act like friends, with slick sales pitches and celebrity endorsements. Every element is geared towards making the process of actually paying for the stuff as painless as possible. You can spread the cost over several months and payment is handled through bank or credit cards, so you don’t feel like you’re parting with cash. Plus, unlike the high street, these cash tills never close.
So the question is this: are you managing your shopping, or is it managing you? ..
Our purchases can reveal what we value and where we place our hope. But we’re more than what we own.
10 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! 11 The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers! (Eccles 5)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” John 6:35.