All These Ads

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“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

I don’t think there is anything more influential than ads that pop up everywhere you go on the internet. More than once they have persuaded me into that item I was only considering hours before.

It starts really simple. First you look something up that you want some more information on and have considered possibly purchasing but then realize you don’t have the money at the moment, so you close the ad and make your way to Facebook. As you’re scrolling along suddenly that same item pops up on your feed; you probably just shake your head and keep scrolling, thinking nothing of it but knowing this isn’t the end because it’ll be back the next time you repeat the same process. Eventually you see the item so many times that you’re practically forced to buy it. Obviously no one is holding you down threatening you with your life if you don’t make this purchase, but your mind won’t let it go. You put the item in your online cart, and then remove it, repeating this over and over.

A few days later you have a package waiting for you on the doorstep when you get home from work. You open it slowly, feeling half guilty and half excited, hoping the purchase was worth the credit card bill you’ll be getting next month.

Most likely the excitement fades over a few days, sometimes you even put it back into the box and leave it there for months, possibly even years before you donate it or throw it away. If you made multiple purchases like this all around the same time, then the excitement of each one fades even faster. You don’t have time to become attached to the item before another one shows up shortly after.

Impulse buying takes away the enjoyment of it. Mostly because you feel guilty about the purchase, and the other reason being you probably didn’t actually want it at all. It just filled that empty spot for the time being.

The best thing you can do is sit on a purchase for a few weeks, by doing this you’re giving yourself the time to decide if you actually want to make the purchase to enjoy it or if it’s just something for the moment.

The next thing to do is block the ad on Facebook when it first comes through, that way you won’t be tempted by the time you’ve seen it the twentieth time.

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