The combined COVID-related consequences of lockdown, isolation, furlough and unemployment has meant that many of us are home with too much time on our hands, scrolling idly on the internet with the lure of online shopping for things we don’t need just a click away.
The act of proceeding to checkout supposedly causes dopamine receptors in the brain to activate, resulting in sensations of reward and pleasure – we are seeking to cheer ourselves up.
But this can often be followed by a sense of profound remorse when the item you inexplicably clicked on whilst you were watching Netflix is delivered to your door two weeks later.
Just because Instagram decided you needed a Marimekko kaftan, you probably don’t. The internet and its algorithms have decided that I am someone who likes expensive fashion from Net-a-Porter, as well as fluffy house slippers and a weird silver spinning top from Canada.
I am pleased to report I have succumbed to buying none of these things, nor much else, as I have been practising the trick of filling a cart and then waiting for 48 hours to see if I still really want anything in it.
Turns out, if you follow that rule, you can have your fun, without altering your bank balance.
In fact, you are often flooded with relief you didn’t actually make the purchase, which feels just as good as a dopamine hit. Putting feeble starting bids on $10,000 garden statues and 7-carat sapphire bracelets on international online auctions is also quite entertaining if you can’t concentrate on a book and it will also help you to stay away from the fridge.
Online sales have gone through the roof for obvious lockdown comforts such as lounge wear, socks, pyjamas, onesies, and even weighted blankets as the need for high fashion and accessories has abated, even in those states that are not in complete lockdown.
Here in Sydney, we are still dressing in a sort of flight-or-fight mode, in parkas and leggings and trainers, everyone feeling understandably nervous that there could be a virus outbreak at any moment.
Many of us have turned to sour dough starter kits, bought new tableware, and are updating our glasses and cookware. I’m speaking here of those who invite friends over for dinner, rather than risking it at the pub.
From what I see on social media, there is far more en pointe fashion going on for cats and dogs, as well as essential pet furniture such as luxury dog beds, complex designer cat scratching posts and even dog tepees.
Beauty products have also been popular, face masks, bath products and body oils, anything to make us feel soothed and less anxious during this stressful period, and which is an immensely fun category to buy online.
It presents a great opportunity to support businesses based in Victoria, as they endure this tough period of winter lockdown (I just ordered an at- home hammam kit from Mira’s Hand). Proceed to checkout.