With social media on a spike over the past few years, shopping has reached a whole new level, becoming some kind of "plague" for society.
The shopping frenzy has turned into a global phenomenon with the adoption of Black Friday across the world, along with online shopping alternatives that have become more prevalent globally, according to a Turkish expert.
"As in all areas of life, the development of computer and internet technology has brought changes in people's shopping habits," an Istanbul-based author and speaker on science and technology Deniz Unay told Anadolu Agency in an interview.
In some form or another, Black Friday, which refers to the first Friday following Thanksgiving in the U.S. when many stores offer promoted sales at discounted prices, is celebrated in many parts of the world.
"Black Friday, which also serves to express Christmas shopping habits, has become a global tradition at a time when all cultures of the world affect each other with the help of new generation mass media," the expert said.
Unay argued that factors such as big discount campaigns, advertisements encouraging shopping and low interest rates of loans offered by banks paved the way for the emergence of new approaches and concepts in trade and shopping sectors.
Defined as "oniomania" in the medical literature, the shopping addiction "is the result of efforts to create a growing consumer society around the world that encourages people to constantly buy something," he asserted.
Drawing a comparison between drug, alcohol and shopping addictions, Unay said that it triggers psychological problems.
"Moreover, the effects of this (shopping addiction) can put individuals in much more dire situations than they seem," he underscored.
Unay went on to say that "the emergence of e-commerce platforms in this process has created a facility where institutions can turn this change into their own advantages."
He also underlined that institutions have targeted individuals and individual needs directly, not the public, and have caused personalized advertisements to enter our lives.
Touching upon the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people's consumption and shopping habits, Unay said that either through traditional communication tools or via internet and social media, "famous e-commerce brands encourage people to shop and meet their needs without leaving their homes, or even getting up from their couches."
"As a result, people are increasingly drawn to the irresistible lure of online shopping," he added.
He also said that although consumption is more common in western countries, "this habit causes the ecosystem to deteriorate at an increasing rate."
In order to keep away from the swirl of shopping frenzy, he urged people to keep in mind that a decrease in the price of a product does not mean that we should buy it.
"There are many websites that aim to defraud people with traps such as big discounts and advantageous prices. We should stay away from them and shop only from known and reliable websites," he advised.