Heart beats go haywire, loud enough to be heard; adrenalin flows through the veins as rapidly as a mountain river gushing in frenzy; unblinking eyes become glassy as if in a trance and jaws drop, salivating and drooling. Hands are clammy and a feverish brain is chanting a litany that never seems to end.
Is it a description of an addict high on drugs? No! of an app addict and a compulsive shopaholic. The addicted obsessive buyer moves on, clicking rapidly for online shopping apps have fuelled the desire to buy more. Bye- Bye to simple living and high thinking of era before liberalization; scarce times are over. The new ‘mantra’ is ‘Buy-Buy’ till the next product comes up to churn more desires.
As Shakespeare cogently mentioned in ‘Macbeth’,” That of an hour’s age doth hiss the speaker; each minute teems as new one.” What was bought a day earlier becomes stale; the ‘Neophiliac’ , a term popularised by Robert Anton Wilson , for a buyer constantly seeking something new, hankering for a newer product, gasps for more.
The fear of missing out and being labelled uncool haunts constantly, leading to anxiety. Material possessions have to be novel, to flaunt and make others envious , to live that short-lived glory of having the spotlight on for that infinitesimal nano second.
This obsessive compulsive disorder bordering on paranoia leads to tension, depression, self loathing and low self- esteem. The product may not be of immense utility but the instant gratification and its possession gives such a ‘high’ that even a cocaine addict may take a back seat.
For the seller it’s a win-win situation, to sell in a neophiliac’s world and laugh his way to the bank but for the buyer, it’s a dicey situation. He is on a cusp, of agony and ecstasy, of pleasure and turmoil till the button is clicked and the courier delivers him from all evil.
Learning a new skill , Going to a seminar or an art exhibition, outdoor expeditions, travelling are all passé for driven by impatience, the neophiliac is afraid of missing out on the trendiest, funkiest, coolest and latest device, propelling him on high octane, to be ahead in the mouse-race!!
The ‘appy’ world of today is full of lure, chased by lucre. Kabir das had aptly warned eons ago, ”Maya maha thagani hum jani”. Translated loosely, it means Maya is the mother of all thugs. The more you chase Maya, the more you sink into the insane swamp of desire.
The warning goes unheeded. A beaming updated Maya weaves its illusion on the web.
The chase is on , the race has to be won. The Hedonists, the Neophiliacs, the Shopaholics are all in the fray. Seduced by trumpery,the glamour and shimmer, the clicking fever is on!