How a shopping app turned me into a maniac willing to trade in all my contacts for cash.
I can't wait until shopping in stores IRL becomes the "new thing". I am biased because I work in brick and mortar retail at a store that takes pride in keeping our shelves stocked and orderly. We welcome every customer and treat them kindly and respectfully. People feel better after being in our store, even if they don't buy anything. Human interaction helps us to see what we have in common with others who may look very different from ourselves and being together in person, whatever you are doing, reinforces that. Also, it keeps you grounded in what you can and cannot afford. And if the store is well-run, it will make money. I hope that Gen Z learns to appreciate the value of this old-fashioned behavior.
Every product made requires materials to be mined, transported to a factory, assembled, transported elsewhere, finally transported to your house for delivery. Most of these products - that cookie sheet, that electric kettle - will end up in a landfill in about 5 years. The rampant consumerism that started in the 1950s (really around the beginning of the industrial revolution) allows us all to live like royalty by mortgaging future generations and the very planet itself. It seems like the real value here is that dopamine hit of referring friends, getting coupons, getting deals -- but in the end, does it really provide much value?
Of course we all have to shop -- modernity is defined by the things we possess. If you're going to bake cookies every week, it makes sense to have a cookie sheet. But I guarantee you, at least a few neighbors of yours will have one. You can go there, borrow it, bake your cookies, and when you return it, have a chance to share a cookie, have a cup of coffee/tea, chat, smile, and share a bit of love. This makes your local community a tiny bit better, and maybe giving some meaning and friendship to your day in a way that buying a cookie sheet made by a factory in India can never do.
This app sounds like a very addicting and seductive way to waste time, money, and the Earth's resources -- and to convince others to do so too. Not that I'm against taking a bit of money from Abu Dhabi oligarchs if that's really what this is, but rather it seems like a way to entice people to buy more useless *stuff* that will just end up in landfills and contribute to pollution. In particular, the phrasing "[T]his is a form of self-care. That I deserve this." is really concerning -- no, shopping is not self-care.
(sorry if this comes off as judgmental... I'm entering my Ted Kaczynski phase of life right now)
This sounds like Temu or Wish in that the quality of the products is likely very low and coming from China. I'm so suspicious of all online marketing now that I'm convinced everything being fed to me by the various algorithms is probably crap quality, made in China, and/or a total ripoff. I've never been so cynical about advertising in my life. So now when I see something that looks interesting or that I want, I have to spend 20 minutes digging into the company, finding out where they are located, who owns them, etc. I did score what I think is a very sweet little handmade piece of jewelry recently from a small business owner in Texas discovered via a Facebook ad, but it took a lot of digging to confirm that was actually the case.
Thanks to the internet and the plethora of scams and misleading ads, I now have extreme trust issues. So I'll be passing on Flip. Thanks for the warning. :)
Thx for the heads up, definitely interesting article and an invite I won’t be accepting 😊
Anything that's "like TikTok" is something humans should avoid.
Does the Flip site provide importing details? I will not buy from Amazon anything that I do not know country of origin, which is most of their consumer goods. Requiring importation info and manufacturing country is required on every product sold in Canada and yet Amazon.ca is not required to post this information...a lapse that I struggle to understand since they are retailers selling imported goods whether in brick and mortar or not. I'm sure the US has similar labelling laws and a similar Amazon.com issue.
Consumers can't make a choice without information, and I, for one, like to consciously know with whom I'm doing business and supporting with my purchases.
We are rapidly becoming a low-rent - yet very costly - version of various satirical dystopian models.
Flip reminds the author of QVC. It made me think of stuff hawked at county fairs, or the various brands that were pitched through house parties. (Do they still do that? It's been a while for me.) The faux-excitement. The social pressure. All very creepy.
“According to its site, Flip is for people whose “standards are serious,” as if it’s an advanced condition.“
Playing on the concept of aesthetics, it sells you the fantasy that this “magic pill” will improve their lives. Snake oil salespitches and carnival barkers for the 21st century. Good to know it hasn’t died; it just plays on our vanities in new, updated clothes.
Horrifying in so many ways.
Seems like an awful lot of work!
What sort of person, does the adage say, is "... born every minute"?
Once again Suzy delivers 👏👏👏
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Thanks for delivering the content I didn’t know I needed.
Nice writing, made me chuckle out loud several times.
Wow - this sounds awful... So. Much. Stuff. It feels like a hoarder's fever dream.
Sell all my contacts, pictures, etc? Open kimono for all my friends? No way and I would be pretty angry if one of my friends did that and now Flip had my info.
This article remind me of my clients that struggle with gambling addiction. How Flip front loaded the reinforcement schedule is kind of brilliant actually. Tread carefully Suzzy, or Flip will get you.