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Online Wish Lists

In Toronto Magazine, January 2012, Online Wish Lists

In Toronto Magazine, January 2012, Online Wish Lists

In January, the winter wind whistles through the leafless, trembling trees. The holiday season is behind us. Pine tree needles have been vacuumed away, lights returned to that upper shelf in the hall closet.

Are you like me? The time is ripe to check out my online wish lists, scanning to see which products Santa missed.

I’ve built and maintained online wish list for years, on Amazon, Future Shop, Best Buy, the iTunes Store and eBay to name a few. Lists of all the books, gadgets, appliances, MP3s, apps, DVDs, CDs, and whatever other content I could ever want to own. (I threw in those last two content formats for the over-40 demographic who have yet to figure out how to download their digital entertainment content.)

For some strange reason visiting those wish lists feels good, doesn’t it? I sometimes visit mine, just to see what is still there, reading the customer reviews, knowing that there are other people just like me, curating a desirous list of future content.

Wish lists are a virtual representation of one’s personal consumption dreams. It’s like Heaven for recovering hoarders like me. I like to think of these online environments as “other rooms” to my collection. They are mine; I just haven’t gone through that silly little payment transaction step yet.

Adding items that I covet to my online wish lists allows me the opportunity to not be so compulsive in my purchases; to allow my at times frenzied consumer tendencies to breathe and ponder the necessity of having a book of say, photos of architects’ home libraries of books. Of course I don’t need such a book, but I added it to one of my online wish lists anyway. After careful consideration, I deemed the book to be inspirational to myself and to obsessive book-loving hoarders everywhere.

This extra online step I take before actually buying something allows me some distance from my once quite compulsive purchasing habits. My purchases now feel more measured and special to me. And I can always visit the stuff in my “other rooms” online. I think content collectors everywhere should take on this tactic. Hoarders unite… online!

Michael Thorner tweets at @michaelthorner

This column originally appeared in IN Toronto Magazine, January 2012 issue.
Editor: Gordon Bowness