De-Influencing: Holiday Edition
By Bella Coco, Staff Writer
With the holiday season upon us, people feel pressured to spend more than ever. Whether it’s for themselves or their loved ones for the holidays, the number of items in a cart can get high and the bank balance can get low.
If I had a dollar for every time I opened TikTok and I was bombarded with an influencer showing off their favourite $100 moisturizer or $700 hair tool, I would be eating my words and falling for the “must-have” gimmick. But, as most people—including myself—tend to forget that the lives that people have on social media are not real.
First, we must start with the basics. You should know that a small fraction of people can realistically afford the Dyson AirWrap, which retails for $799, or a well-coloured Stanley which goes for $60 to $90. Many of the influencers you see on TikTok do not afford their luxuries all on their own. They can either thank brand deals or an alarming amount of credit card debt for their envious lives seen through a screen. The fancy vacations they take three to four times a year and the crazy amount of trends they keep up with are not realistic. So, stop trying to make it your reality!
Second, with many of us seeing the coaxing and tempting holiday sales, it is important to remember that just because something is 50 per cent off does not mean it is a need. Repeat after me, there is no such thing as an Amazon must-have. And while Black Friday has come and gone, one must be aware that Boxing Day still looms over shoppers with money-hungry glee.
A general rule to live by: if you cannot afford the item twice, you cannot afford it at all. Yes, even during those fun holiday sale periods. For those who adore their online shopping, myself included, we are in immediate danger of a fun dopamine rush and impulse purchasing. When you see that dream product, take a moment. Add it to your wish list, and close the tab. 90 per cent of the time, you will come back to realize that the product wasn’t a need as much as you thought it was.
To add, will the expensive item you’re ogling over on your computer bring you or your loved ones joy in the long term? Will it lessen your stress, or make you a happier person? Really think. If it will, congratulations! Take the time to mull over the price, but remember that not every fancy product will bring you or your loved ones peace of mind. If it won’t bring you longtime joy, step away from that cart.
One of the greatest gifts we can give as consumers is shopping local during the holiday season, and all year round. Visit your local holiday market or check out small independent stores to potentially provide some business.
When it comes to giving gifts to our loved ones, there does come a pressure to get them more than they need in order to make them feel special and loved. The important thing to remember this holiday season is that no amount of money can buy the love and care you have for your loved ones. Time well spent together with memories made is the best gift you could give someone this holiday season.