You just go shopping a little more than others.

You just go shopping a little more than others.

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"to go shopping" this is one of the most popular leisure activities for young people. Then they make a pilgrimage several times a week, usually accompanied by their best friends, through the shops to try things on and often also to buy. But what is a normal leisure activity for some becomes an expensive habit for others that ends in shopping addiction, in which inner compulsion determines consumption. But what are the reasons for the excessive desire to shop and how can parents take countermeasures at an early stage? These ten tips can help.

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Children and young people have never been so courted as they are today – be it through eye-catching posters, TV advertising or product placement on the Internet. Above all, fashionable branded products and certain cell phone models are considered status symbols and are very attractive to adolescents. Various studies show that no age group is as interested in prestigious labels as it is among 13 to 18 year olds. In 2006, so found the market research agency "Icon kids" in Munich, young German people invested four billion euros in clothing. In total, the expenses totaled over 22 billion euros. The consumer researchers also found that the number of children in this country is decreasing by around one percent year on year, but the amount of money they spend increases by around three percent annually.

Online shopping increases desires

In view of the plump, colorful consumer world, in which even the youngest are encouraged to buy, the temptation to shop extensively is great. This is particularly tempting when it comes to uncomplicated online shopping: a product quickly ends up in the shopping cart with a click, without cash immediately being sold over the counter. Pay later. This not only increases desires, but also makes purchasing decisions easier and reduces inhibitions.

Consumption strengthens self-esteem

Bielefeld sociologist Elmar Lange explains in his book why young people are passionate consumers, especially when it comes to fashion "Youth Consumption in the 21st Century" explained. According to the scientist, especially during puberty, adolescents believed they could express desirable personality traits through certain items of clothing by making them look cool, casual or funky. In addition, through the act of buying they made the experience that they were seen as financially potent consumers, as equal partners of adults. Ultimately, this desire for social recognition can reinforce tendencies to buy even when there is no need.

That "excessive shopping" is not a marginal phenomenon among young people, studies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland show, which all came to similar results: According to them, around a third of all consumers are at risk of shopping addiction, half of them are between 14 and 24 years old and predominantly female. According to the results of a study by Techniker Krankenkasse, around 800,000 people across Germany suffer from a pathological purchasing disorder, including around fifty percent teenagers and young adults – and the trend is rising.

"I buy and I buy – I can’t help it!"

The boundary between real addiction, which typically involves losing control of one’s own actions, and "Compensation and frustration purchases" is just difficult to pull. The disease often creeps into everyday life over years, because the behavior is not particularly noticeable at first. You just go shopping a little more than others. Only the impulse-driven, regularly recurring, compulsive urge to buy something is typical for a real shopping addiction. However, those affected often fail to notice signs of abnormal purchasing behavior.

You can get an idea of ​​this in relevant Internet forums, where especially young "buyers" Exchange women and not infrequently "their problem" gloss over. For example, seventeen-year-old Kristin says that she goes shopping about four times a week: "Trendy fashion is important to me and I like to spend money on it. That makes me happy." Nathalie, who is the same age, even raves about hers "Intoxication": "I buy and buy – I can’t help it. I go through the shops, but prefer to shop on the Internet, buying everything I can find. That’s a nice thing to do. I feel important there."

Shopping addiction usually begins during puberty

Sieglinde Zimmer-Fiene is also familiar with the urge to consume. For years it opened several times a day "lucky ones" excessive shopping trips. She spent a fortune on clothing. Today she has the disease under control and has a book on the phenomenon "Shopping addiction" Written and advises other affected people on a voluntary basis in a self-help group initiated by her in the Hanover area in 2002. The expert knows from her experience that almost everyone who got caught up in this consumption vortex in adulthood, in most cases already as a teenager, felt an increased tendency to do something good for themselves by shopping and to create positive feelings for themselves: "This tendency is stronger today than ever" Sieglinde Zimmer-Fiene explains to the parents’ editorial team at, "Because of the extreme pressure to consume in our society, where it is mainly about material things, young people want to keep up. Those who can do that are recognized; those who cannot do this very quickly get the feeling that ‘you don’t belong’. The peer pressure is extremely high."

Parents often underestimate the problem

If young people, who by the way come from all walks of life, contacted the self-help group by telephone, they would usually already have financial difficulties. But because they were ashamed of it, they often pretended to call on behalf of a shopping friend, says Sieglinde Zimmer-Fiene. "In such conversations it often becomes clear that parents tend to smile at the problem. Or fathers and mothers, but also grandparents, sometimes try to resolve the matter with the best of intentions by giving their children or grandchildren money – in the hope that then the worry is over. But that almost never works." Sometimes, however, it is also desperate parents who answered and recognized the problem very well, but the children were not willing to talk.

But not only in many families, but also in social perception, shopping addiction is not taken seriously enough, says Zimmer-Fiene: "The term consumption has a very positive connotation for us and is expressly desired in our system. Nobody can imagine that excessive consumerism can turn into a threatening disease. At first glance, you don’t see anything worrying. Those affected – and especially young people – usually appear very chic. That suggests: ‘Look, I’m fine.’" The dilemma is therefore not immediately apparent, as is the case with drug addicts who are also physically ill.

The dramatic consequences

It is not uncommon for adolescents to get into hopeless debt or even come into conflict with the law if they illegally obtain money, place orders under false names or even steal in order to fulfill their material wishes. Unfortunately, those affected usually only ask for support at this late stage because they did not want to admit the problem beforehand, according to Sieglinde Zimmer-Fiene’s experience.

Consumption needs to be examined critically

In order to stop this spiral at an early stage, she therefore advises parents on the one hand to talk more to their children about moral values ​​and on the other hand to try to question the positive concept of consumption. Parents can show their offspring the mechanisms of the beautiful, colorful consumer world – why, for example, displays or shelves are sorted according to a certain type and how consumers are manipulated by marketing strategies and seduced into buying things that they actually don’t need.

According to Sieglinde Zimmer-Fiene, schools could play a special role in the fight against excessive buying behavior among young people: "It is imperative that appropriate consumer behavior and the handling of money be taught, while at the same time talking about the value system in our society. Discussing in class can be very effective. The students would then have the opportunity to open up and to exchange ideas and critically discuss their ‘substitute religion shopping’. That might be beneficial."

In addition to professionally supervised psychotherapy and the support of self-help groups that exist nationwide, these ten practical tips can also help against excessive buying

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"I bims" is this "Youth word of the year". It means, "I am". Find out where it comes from here.

For the tenth time, Langenscheidt-Verlag chose the word of the year for young people. There were 30 terms to choose from in the run-up to show how today’s young people speak.

In 2017, a 20-member jury voted for "I bims" decided. Landed in a non-binding online vote "I bims" in tenth place. The front runner was the expression "Goes fit" as a term for something that is clear. Around a million votes were cast this time – according to the publisher, more than ever before.

"I bims" – What are they talking about?

If you are wondering when to "I bims" used and where it comes from, then you are not alone. We in the editorial team also had to do some research first. The phenomenon that has recently happened to young people "I bims" say go to the facebook pages "Vong" and "Thoughtful page with sayings" back. These were made known through memes on which "Halo I bims" stands. "Memes" Incidentally, are pictures or photos that are provided with text, are usually supposed to be funny and are distributed over the Internet. Like this:

Youth word of the year 2017: Frozen, loot, ahnma – do you understand something? "I am lost": Small dictionary of youth language Youth language: Looking for youth word of the year – does the ” Babo ” win the race? Reading day: How children learn to read

The winners of the last few years

Last year lay "isso" as approval or underlining of something in front. But the jury decided for "Be fly" a term from the hip-hop scene that means something like someone or something "goes off especially". The election is an advertising campaign by Langenscheidt-Verlag and is taking place for the tenth time this year.

Short German spreads. Articles and prepositions are simply left out.

By |2021-02-24T21:25:29+01:00June 23rd, 2020|blog|
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