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Katie is sitting at her
computer, eyes glued to the screen. It's 2 am and the
eBay auction is about to end. Within minutes the 25-year-old
events manager from London will know if she has won
another pair of Gucci shoes to add to her collection.
The scene may sound familiar. Indeed, eBay - the Internet
auction site - has become a modern phenomenon, with
10 million British users, 135 million worldwide and
up to 600,000 joining every month.
The other side-effects of her self-confessed addiction
are far more alarming. Katie has spent so much of her
substantial J50,000-a-year salary on eBay since discovering
it in November that she is already J10,000 in debt.
It is not just her finances which are feeling the strain.
Her health is also deteriorating under the stress of
owing so much, and she has been to see her GP. What
horrifies Katie even more is the fact that she can see
her personality changing as a result of her addiction:
she admits she is now prepared to lie to cover the extent
of her problem.
Natalie, 27, from London, who works for a casting agency,
also finds taking part in the eBay auctions and hunting
for bargains addictive.
'I admit that I am an addict and I probably do need
professional help,' she says. 'Every day I wake up and
say that today I am not going on eBay. But I can't stop
myself. It started as my stress-buster from work and
now it's the cause of my stress. The thrill of the auction
is like a gambling rush.'
These young women are not isolated cases. David Nott,
Addictions Programme Manager, is seeing an increasing
number of patients with eBay addiction, which he says
is a very real condition.
While shopaholism has been recognized as a problem for
years, he believes eBay addiction is different because
of the combination of shopping and gambling which makes
it so compelling and potentially more addictive.
'While a lot of people claim that the possibility of
picking up a bargain is what attracts them to eBay,
the single biggest thing that tends to keep them coming
back is not what they buy, but how they buy it,' he
says. 'The whole thing is geared around anticipation,
winning and losing - it's a very emotive process.'
He says eBay addiction should be treated as seriously
as any other.
'It is potentially life-destroying. While it doesn't
have the immediate health implications, it can lead
to disrupted sleep, the same types of adrenaline highs
and lows and obviously the overspending and consequent
financial problems that this entails.'
A15 Why does the author in the second paragraph
say that "the scene may sound familiar"? Because
people taking part in the eBay auctions are:
1) a rare case
2) ordinary buyers
3) spread all over the world
4) decreasing in number
A16 People visiting eBay auctions are:
4) lonely people
A17According to the author what attracts
people in eBay auctions?
1) the rush of excitement
2) anticipation, winning and losing
3) the heed to by things
4) the possibility to pick up a bargain
A18EBay addiction is different from shopaholism
1) there is no human interaction
2) it is a combination of shopping and gambling
3) it is more addictive
4) you buy things online
A19David Nott says that the side effects of
eBay addiction are:
1) destroyed relationship and stress
2) financial problems
3) deteriorating health and change of personality
4) adrenaline rush, disrupted sleep and financial problems
A20EBay addiction according to David Nott should
be treated seriously because:
1) you get hooked
2) it has immediate health implications
3) bidding is exciting
4) it may destroy your life
A21Natalie thinks that her addiction:
1) is self-destructing
2) influences her relationship with parents
3) is the cause of her stress
4) is just a hobby