Dec 18, 2007

Observing Cyber Christmas

In the year's past, I've often complained about fighting the crowds the week before Xmas, trying to find last minute stocking stuffers and what not.. This year's been different. We're in a new city, a little timid to fight a whole new crop of Xmas shoppers, and frankly we just haven't had time. All my shopping this year has taken place on my alma-mater,

The interesting thing to note is that my shopping behavior on the internet is wildly different. I study each item ad nauseum... reading all the reviews, checking on ebay for different options, etc. And my purchases are less random. When I shop, I usually just grab stuff on the way out for stock stuffers, uttering to myself "ooh this is cute. ooh she'll like that". There's less of that in cyber shopping. Every movement towards the shopping cart is heavily calculated. Makes for less random shopping.

I can't say which one I enjoy more. I love having the reviews to scout out the best brand/product. I also like the challenge of finding it cheaper ( I am Chinese afterall ) and I worry about availability less. But cyber shopping, I've noticed, feels more like a task - like I have to get through a checklist. There's less of the Christmas spirit feel behind each purchases, even though, ultimately the gift gets presented the same way, in colorful wrapping under a Xmas tree.

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