Shopping for presents during the holiday season requires a lot of work and thought which in turn takes up a lot of precious time. And when you're lucky enough to think of that perfect present, it then depends on whether you can find the gift in stores, if the price right, and if it is available or sold out. So you bundle up to brace against the cold, plunge into traffic and packed parking lots and push your way through the crowds and lines in the stores only to find that the perfect gift isn't in stock. But not to fear, for we are becoming a generation of online shoppers, and now our stress can melt away with the snow.
Online shopping has grown exponentially over the years, and it has exploded even more with the ever-rising popularity of Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This year Cyber Monday sales broke a record and soared through $1 billion in sales, according to the Detroit Free Press. Nov. 29 was rightfully dubbed the busiest online shopping day in history.
It's no wonder online shopping has become so popular - it is ridiculously convenient. Stores are rarely sold out, customer reviews and price comparison sites help you to make the best choices and you don't have to leave your house - it's as easy as clicking a button in your pajamas and fuzzy slippers. And don't forget how you can get anything and everything you could possibly imagine from all kinds of stores without facing any crowds or traffic jams. Especially during these next few weeks, the malls will be unbearable with Christmas and Hanukkah shoppers feverishly searching for presents. But now you can simply forget those days when you had to leave home and spend countless stressful hours with hundreds of your closest "friends" in cramped quarters and say hello to the great age of Internet shopping.
Of course, with every new craze there are always critics. Some people view online shopping as lazy and that people are forming dangerous online shopping addictions. On the contrary, we aren't becoming mindless and lazy shoppers - we are taking advantage of a convenience and actually putting more thought into our presents. When people are forced to rely on what a store has in stock and what they carry, most of us get overwhelmed and just settle for whatever we can find, or even turn to gift cards to show our loved ones that we care. Now we can use all those hours spent crawling the malls and hoping to find the right gift actually researching options that are thoughtful and specifically selected to truly show how much we care.
So what if we are becoming a nation of online shoppers who rely on the Internet? There is no harm done and it's quite the opposite. Our stress levels are reduced. We get to spend more time with our loved ones, rather than struggling to find them nice gifts. We don't go in wishing something will be there and we aren't merely hoping something is good quality. There are people just like us giving hearty advice on what we should and shouldn't buy through countless customer reviews. Online shopping has cleared us many blindnesses.
If lazy online shopping is a crime, then I am guilty as just one of the millions of people who bask in its benefits. As the holidays approach and you have that perfect gift in mind, get it online and call yourself a convert because you will never have to face the pressures of the mall again. Enjoy the holidays. Stay inside, shop in front of the fireplace and don't worry about going to the mall!
Allison Daitch. "Are you a mod or a rocker?" "No, I'm a mocker." I'm Allison, a.k.a. Allie. I love The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld and Harry Potter. I could live off of Cosi TBMs and Signature Salads, with the occasional Quattro Formaggio pizza thrown … More »