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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
'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
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
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
People visiting eBay
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
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
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