Words Andrea Allen
Like any addiction, there are different levels of users; which I have categorised into three for the common Trade Me addict.
1 – The Dabbler: A once-in-a-while user that has bouts of withdrawal, but will binge to feed their addiction for an item they must have.
2 – The Regular: Always in the game, with regular hits of favourite items to feed their craving; the sensible user if you will.
3 – The Marriage: Complete and utter commitment with multiple devices, till death do them part.
“Good morning honey,” is whispered in the early break of the morning. You smile and respond: “Good morning.” But alas, that term of endearment has been projected to a ‘BP’ – no, not a Beloved Partner, but a BatteryPowered object. The addict must check their listings, bids are still current and – oh the joy – if there have been new listings overnight for the desired purchase.
Competitiveness could be used as an excuse for the user, with this becoming about the game rather than the result; about the adrenaline that flows in the grappling of outbidding and forcing the other bidders into painful submission.
To the neglected, how does one wean their loved one’s addiction from this hypnotic website? How to combat the lust and desire it generates with its provocative imagery and promises of fulfilment with one sweeping stroke of the Buy Now button? Talk. I know, radical, but funnily enough, it does work. Establish how long is acceptable while you are together for the user to get his (or her) quick fix.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am definitely in the category of The Dabbler. We all need our hits at some point, I get that. But at some point, the erratic frenzy of the swipe or scroll of the chosen electronic screen needs to reach a breaking point. It might be time to acknowledge the dimming light of a relationship that Mistress (Trade Me) has taken control of. Close the app, minimise the screen and start Buying Now on your quality relationship time rather than hoping the item will Relist if you miss it. Because, one day, it may just be picked up by another User, while you’re not watching!