Online shopping was at first an alternative, but now it’s here to stay


Illustration by Melissa Spencer

Jamie Hiremath, Staff Writer

Online shopping came to the rescue when malls shut down due to COVID-19, but it found its way to stay permanently in the shopping community.

Materialistic items made the closing of shops a devastating thing, some students said.

Senior Maya Willener, said Hawaii’s shut down was one of her worst moments because it meant being temporarily let go from her job at Ala Moana Shopping Center.

“It went from being super busy all the time to having no one, including me and my co-workers allowed to go into the stores for months,” said Willener, who works at Brandy Melville.

Junior Karlee Tanaka, an avid in-person shopper, said it was a change in routine for her considering she went to Ala Moana Shopping Center every two weeks at the least.

“The pandemic in general forced me to go shopping online or not at all, and although I can still shop, it is not so much just for fun and more to finish buying what I need as quickly as I can,” said Tanaka.

Although, most can agree that this sentence to stay inside has brought a lot of benefits to the shopping community.

Junior David Robinson said it’s a short process compared to having to go to the mall in-person.

“I didn’t shop too often before, and online I still don’t, but when I do, it is really easy to get done,” said Robinson.

Social Studies teacher Kaile Berlenbach said she was never a fan of crowds to begin with, and therefore she has always been a fan of online shopping.

“As far as clothes and everyday items, it’s just way more convenient to shop online, and return policies are good,” said Berlenbach.

Because of how convenient it is to shop online, some have found it almost too easy to be manipulated into spending money.

I do have an addiction to online shopping, and I don’t think it is going to stop but only grow as the holidays approach.”

— Emi Dubrawski

Now more than ever, some students say online shopping has become an addiction that doesn’t have to stop even when the pandemic settles down.

Junior Emi Dubrawski vouched for herself, when she said online shopping has become a big part of her life since going out became complicated.

“Being completely honest, I do have an addiction to online shopping, and I don’t think it is going to stop but only grow as the holidays approach. Online, it’s impossible to not find the things that you want, so I can go a little overboard,” said Dubrawski.

Aside from how simple it is to click a few buttons and have your items delivered right to your door, there are negative sides to online shopping.

Trying on clothes is something you can achieve only while physically shopping, but online shopping doesn’t provide you with that opportunity. Tanaka said she thinks not being allowed to try on clothes has ruined the experience for her as a whole.

“The variety of options is the same if not more, but every time I order something, it’s at the risk that it won’t fit me or look the same as it did online, and that is just one of the reasons why I miss being able to go in-person,” said Tanaka.

Dubrawski said she views the process as extra, and feels the shipping process is a burden for both the price and amount of time it takes to deliver.

“Even when something is on sale, you have to take in to account how much the shipping is, and depending on how much it is, it can be enough for me to say no,” she said.

Freshman Haya Stein said that the environmental impact online shopping has, is it’s most negative quality.

“We do shop online a lot, and something I wanna do is be more continuous of our impact on the environment,” said Stein.

With Christmas approaching, some might have to look past the flaws of online shopping being that it is the safer option.

Willener said she looks forward to the holidays turned virtual, and feels safe knowing online shopping is a main option for buying gifts.

“Christmas shopping should be easy because I’ve just been ordering stuff online and I feel like going to the mall is kind of stressful because there have been so many people and lines recently,” said Willener.

Berlenbach said she decided to take a different approach to Christmas, feeling she’s done enough online shopping and that her and her husband have been more than fortunate during these tough times.

“We’ve made a collective decision this year, to not focus on gifts for each other and for other people, and instead we are donating money to causes that are close to home for us,” Berlenbach said.