The Rambling Confessions of a Female Webaholic
I am beginning to suspect that my mother was right all along. Too much of a good thing is bad for the soul. I speak as one who has overindulged on the ‘webbervessence’ of surfing to the point of virtual obesity and is now suffering the inevitable social respite that comes from partying all night on-line rather than on the dance floor. I have tried to cut down on many occasions, but the temptation to log-on is just too strong. In fact, once you’re hooked, it’s pretty much a case of “pack it in altogether or put up with the consequences”, as one former webaholic advised me recently.
For many, the web has bought a kind of closeted freedom that both confines your senses and liberates you at the same time. The growing community of webaholics, to which I belong, know that there is a closet agoraphobic lurking in us all that’s just waiting to ‘get out’ if you’ll excuse the pun! Scared yet?
I have to agree that it does give a woman a sense of power to be able to access an entire shopping centre from the comfort of her armchair. To any of you considering giving it a go, I suggest that you start your experience the right way, armed with credit card, glass of wine and bag of M & M’s. Once you’re logged on you can Google yourself freely to the nearest virtual mall. If, on the other hand, you want to dive straight into a store or two without the search, I can highly recommend Shopsafe (www.shopsafe.co.uk) or the more recently formed edirectory, (www.edirectory.co.uk) which is the virtual home to many a familiar High Street name and has an abundance of goodie-filled mini web boutiques.
Most people find that, not unlike their first sexual experience, a virgin web-shopper's first taste of e-commerce can be a rather hurried and frantic experience; involving lots of uneasy hand movements and far too much time spent fingering the wrong buttons! Take your time and don’t rush yourself. Remember to shop around too. Prices can vary on the web just as much as in the high street. Wine Cellar (www.winecellar.co.uk) will check for the lowest price on any bottle of wine you require from anywhere in the world and will give you instant links to suppliers.
And so, finally, you’ve taken the leap and bought your first item on line. The time has come to raise your glass and congratulate yourself. Take a deep breath of spent satisfaction and relish in the simple, uncluttered, distinctly unpopulated bliss of it all. Now take a sip of wine and snuggle back in your armchair, content in the knowledge that although mother may be right; there may inevitably be a price to pay for so much ‘unholy’ indulgence; here and now it feels so right, so orgasmically good in fact, it would almost be a sin NOT to do it!
And so, to my mother and to all those people who call us webbies sad, I say this: Wouldn’t it be truly sad if we denied ourselves something so emotionally worthwhile, only to ultimately discover that it’s okay after all. That the pleasure/pain principle is merely a philosophy dreamed up by the men who want to control our purse-strings and that God is, after all, a woman.
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