Internet Shopping – The Next Generation

Eileen Hopkins (Gramma Jamma)
Grandma’s Point of View

I have to admit I have been slow to jump on to the internet shopping scene.  I have fond memories of pouring over the Eaton and Sears catalogues for just the right outfit or the latest doll – especially the Eaton’s Beauty Doll (sigh) – and then weeks of waiting for the package to arrive at the local post office – all with parental approval, of course. Who else but grownups could write cheques or buy money orders in those days?

The next generation in my family spurned the slow mail-order shopping and, having access to city malls, changed my shopping experience from blissful anticipation to blisters amidst endless discussions about price, appropriateness and need! Memories of back to school shopping still send a shiver up my back.  Still, I could feel the anticipation as I headed home with packages stowed in the trunk – wondering silently how I would referee the immediate need for four girls to call their friends and report on the details.

Now, it is mail order on steroids!  You are two clicks away from any purchase – and, if it is local, a quick drive to pick it up.  Sites like Kijiji, Craigs List and e-Bay give access to all that is wonderful at bargain prices.  My grown-up daughters are experts in sourcing out bargains and even selling outdated clothes and furniture online.  A trip to the mall is still exciting but with two or three children in tow, it has lost its appeal compared to peaceful surfing at 2 AM in the comfort of your own home.

Enter the next generation.  My grandchildren certainly still enjoy the mall – well, at least the granddaughters do – but now they too have the world at their fingertips – or so it appears.  My daughter was sharing an incident that happened this month that I am still smiling about.

My local grandchildren (10, 9, 7, & 2) really, really want a dog.  They have gone the “gerbil” route and are not buying it!  You just don’t get the same rush from a gerbil as you do from a puppy happy to see you. There were many reasons given for not owning a dog – the usual parental reasoning.  Nothing unusual about this scenario - happened when I had children also although they won out a few times over the years and enjoyed Lucy & Muffin and Homer.

The children of this decade, however, do not need Mom or Dad to take them to a pet store or a puppy breeder or the SPCA – nope.  They have the internet.  The eldest – a normally shy, reserved young lady – took it upon herself to go on to Kijiji (just like mom, me thinks!) and search through the pet advertisements.  She showed the ads to her siblings and they settled on a golden lab.  Everyone emptied their piggy banks and birthday money envelopes until they had what they hoped would be enough.  Then this granddaughter of mine actually went online and made an offer!  The woman called the house to confirm the sale and make arrangements for payment and pickup – whoops.  One part of the plan they didn’t anticipate.  My daughter was perplexed with these messages on her voice mail and finally called the woman back only to discover that her children had made an offer on a dog!  I just love this!  The children have now learned a BIG lesson about online responsibility and spending limitations and my daughter and I had a private giggle over the antics of this generation!  WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?

This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.