The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

Advertisement
Advertisement
Find Stories and More:

TEMU and the trouble with online shopping

TEMU and the trouble with online shopping

I recently overheard a discussion in one of my classes about a shopping app called Temu where everything was incredibly cheap. My classmates were speaking about the app half mockingly and half in-awe of this all-providing site. In my head, I couldn’t help thinking, “How could those prices be so cheap?”

After researching and surfing the site myself, I was immediately overwhelmed—the site screamed at me to get “lightning deals” on $4 sunglasses, a lint roller, and debatably the weirdest pair of tennis shoes I had ever seen.

So, who is buying all this stuff? Temu is the most downloaded app on the App Store and Google Play, with 100 million downloads and two and a half million reviews, according to CBS News. The more downloads this app gets, the more reason we must start considering the true cost of consumerism.

We have heard about unethical practices associated with online shopping sites and production numerous times in the past. Shein, the fast-fashion giant that pumps out several tons of clothes for fancifully cheap prices, has been called out for its implementation of 17-hour workdays and inhumane working conditions, according to Time. Similarly, Amazon has made an aggressive attempt to contain workers’ unions within the company, according to the Ethical Consumer. And Temu, which has made meteoric rise in popularity recently, has been deemed at an “extremely high risk” of certain products being associated with forced labor. 

Clearly, there is a pattern; where mass production leads, human rights becomes collateral damage. Now, these civil issues have become even easier to ignore—shrouded behind bright, enticing banners and cheap prices. Especially since Temu is gaining even more popularity.

As I was watching the Superbowl—for the ads, like your average American—I noticed a reappearance of the same orange-soaked ad: a woman makes continuous, low priced purchases from consumer paradise, Temu, and transforms her dull world into an ochre wonderland, all for the cheapest costs.

Temu ran three 30-second ads in the Superbowl this year, spending $7 million, according to Business Insider, a financial and business news website. It wasn’t the fact that it was the same corny ad three times in a row that annoyed me, it was the obvious glorification of consumerism. The ad itself promoted the idea that buying more would evenly just solve more of your problems. 

Having easier access to a plethora of goods creates more dysfunction than we think.

 Students at South are not immune to the pull of online products. Forty-five percent of students at South shop online every month, 15 percent of them shop online every week, and ten percent of them shop on Temu, according to a non-scientific The Oracle survey of 315 students. While online shopping is obviously way easier and more accessible and convenient to all of us, collective excessive use has catastrophic consequences. The gaining popularity of Temu is yet another reminder of the importance of being mindful of the real process of online consumerism and being considerate of the fact that it is way more complicated than we assume when we click that button.

So, before you go ahead and buy that pair of shoes, consider where it’s coming from. Consider if you really need it, and consider if it’s worth the price; no, not the disturbingly low price of those shoes, but the cost of our collective rights.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

The Oracle intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Oracle does not allow anonymous comments, and The Oracle requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • B

    Barco c BlantonMay 24, 2024 at 10:12 pm

    Just be aware with a few other websites that you will be giving them access to everything in your phone if you download the app contact list phone numbers messages everything. The return policy is almost impossible.

    Reply
  • L

    LauraMay 21, 2024 at 6:27 pm

    Free gifts are a lie I’ve followed all the prompts, answered questions, shared, EVERYTHING AND NEVER RECEIVED NOT ONE ITEM.

    Reply