Network’s New Docu-Series “My Shopping Addiction” Premieres on Monday, October 15 at 11pm ET/PT
NEW YORK – October 1, 2012 – Oxygen Media today released a study, conducted by Research Now, targeting the shopping habits of young men and women. The results confirm that while only six percent of Americans admit that they are personally addicted to shopping, a large number of U.S. adults confess to spending behaviors that are compulsive and 32 percent said they know someone who may be addicted to shopping. Most people believe compulsive shopping is more prevalent in society than compulsive stealing and gambling, and as common as eating disorders. The results of this study coincide with the premiere of Oxygen’s authentic new docu-series “My Shopping Addiction” on Monday, October 15 at 11pm ET/PT, which provides an inside look into the lives of young people facing a crisis due to a dangerous addiction to shopping.
“Lots of people like shopping and buying things because it’s pleasurable and rewarding,” said Dr. David Tolin, a licensed psychologist and addiction expert featured on Oxygen’s “My Shopping Addiction.” “That’s fine, but much of the time getting through life successfully means being able to delay gratification – to balance your desire for that reward with the realities of life. People who have shopping addictions have lost their balance in that respect. They can’t say ‘no’ to the desire for immediate gratification and they let the rest of their lives fall apart.”
Examining America’s Spending Habits
The results of Oxygen’s study show that Americans’ obsession with shopping is prevalent, finding that 60 percent of people say that they “love shopping and buying things.” Adults’ spending habits that were revealed include:
• 68 percent have bought something strictly because it was cheap
• 58 percent have bought something expensive they didn’t need
• 48 percent have bought something and when they got home, weren’t sure why they bought it
• 38 percent have hidden a purchase from friends or family
• 36 percent have bought something expensive they’ve never used
The current economic situation in the United States plays a role in shopping habits with nearly half of Americans spending less now than they used to, with men being slightly more likely than women to have not changed their spending habits (50 percent vs. 40 percent).
“Over time, shopping, spending and image become a ‘mindless’ pursuit, almost a habit,” said Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed psychologist and addiction expert featured on Oxygen’s “My Shopping Addiction.” “People may find themselves blindly consuming rather than taking a moment to figure out what they are trying to fix with the shopping. A key tool then becomes ‘mindfulness’ or just stopping and thinking before buying.”
What will Americans sacrifice in order to shop?
Americans will go to outrageous lengths to be able to buy something they wouldn’t normally be able to afford, including:
• 30 percent have gone into credit card debt
• 27 percent worked overtime
• 15 percent haven’t paid rent or a utility bill on time
• 14 percent skipped a meal
Who is Addicted to Shopping?
More than 80 percent of both genders agree that women are more compulsive about shopping than men. In particular, young women 18-34 are more likely to be “addicted” with 73 percent agreeing that they “love shopping and buying things” and (24 percent) confessing that their friends think they are a shopaholic. Furthermore, men tend to spend money on bigger ticket items such as cars, car accessories and electronic gadgets, while women spend more on makeup, clothing, shoes and fashion accessories.
Reasons for Compulsive Shopping
The reasons for adults compulsive shopping seem to be two-fold with the study finding 74 percent blaming America’s materialistic culture and others believing emotional issues are the root cause:
• 72 percent think compulsive shoppers are unhappy
• 68 percent think compulsive shoppers are stressed
• 66 percent think compulsive shoppers are lonely
• 55 percent say shopping is a good way to cheer up
• 45 percent say shopping is a good way to relieve stress
Does Digital and Social Media Fuel the Habit?
With today’s growing digital landscape, access to online and mobile shopping sites is a huge contributor to the compulsive shopping habits of Americans. A whopping 88 percent shop online, and cite the following reasons:
• 79 percent because of its convenience and ability to locate hard to find items
• 64 percent agree that it is much easier to spend money online versus brick-and-mortar stores
• 26 percent because they are bored
Drastically growing as a convenient way to make purchases, 20 percent of adults buy things via mobile devices, and mention the following reasons:
• 58 percent said because of its convenience
• 28 percent said when they are bored
In addition, 21 percent of adults enjoy friending brands on Facebook and young women 18-34 are most likely to subscribe to an “online deal” site such as Gilt Groupe, Rue La La or Hautelook (41 percent).
About Oxygen’s New Docu-Series “My Shopping Addiction”
Oxygen’s authentic new docu-series, “My Shopping Addiction,” gives viewers an inside look at what happens when their shopping obsession causes their finances and lives to spiral out of control. Each hour-long episode follows two different shopping addicts that will be forced to face their problem head on with the help of a clinical psychologist who will guide them on the road to recovery. On Monday, October 15 at 11pm ET/PT, the premiere episode will follow Heather, whose shopping addiction began 10 years ago after she inherited a large sum of money from her grandmother. Heather has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars shopping and if she’s not careful, she could lose it all. The episode also captures Roshanda, who borrows money from friends and family in order to pack her home full of products from the 99 cent store. With the help of psychologists, Dr. Ramani and Dr. David Tolin, these women will be forced to face their issues and get to the bottom of their addiction once and for all.
“My Shopping Addiction” is produced by Screaming Flea Productions with Matt Chan, Jodi Flynn and Jeff Kuntz serving as Executive Producers.