What a relief it has been to not have to watch television shows at the time they air, or read a newspaper or wait beside my land line to receive a call.
Many of my entrepreneurial friends agree that the best decision one can make is time shifting - moving away from the traditional 9 to 5 working hours.
Time shifting allows me to work my own hours, read a news column three years after it was first published and watch my favourite TV show online or on my DVD player. There is no strict time limit on when I can access content, and I can skip all the advertisements, which is always a plus for a busy bee like me.
But advertisers have found new ways of reaching those customers who switch media platforms.
Just last week I was bombarded with text messages from one of my favourites clothing retailers with messages like this: "HURRY 90% OFF EXCLUSIVE ITEMS ACROSS ALL UAE STORES."
I was heading to the mall anyway that afternoon, so I decided to pop into their store to see what the fuss was about. I shudder to remember the hype that was devoted to promoting a small basket full of wrinkled turtleneck blouses and some scarves.
But advertisers and businesses will always need to keep creating a feeling of scarcity and bringing on stampedes in an effort to attract customers and helping their clients make a profit.
People want to stand out and be the first to acquire unique products. The best way to do this is to make time seem tight by using the "going-going-gone" approach to sales.
For years, salespeople have been putting in long hours to create the illusion that we need to give the stores our money now or risk that we will never fit in with what they have made us believe is normal.
Not long ago, online retailers figured out how to use a similar approach in contacting those in their databases of international customers by launching online private-shopping clubs.
Companies such as HauteLook and Rue La La offer their registered international shoppers services, such as "flash sales" or deep discounts on a limited number of items with well known labels.
I decided to register with these websites for fun. A few days ago, I was looking at a beautiful spring dress used to target thousands of invited customers, one of them me. The sale was available only for a few days. Although I was not looking for a dress at that time, the possibility of missing out on this exclusive offer made me feel an urgent need to buy.
For some ladies, not purchasing that dress would be a crime against fashion. The online It Girl knows herself and fashion so thoroughly that she understands with just a glimpse that the dress is a necessity, and she can think of no better use for the four-figure amount that is required to buy it.
I rarely purchase an item on impulse after viewing an advertisement, but under the right circumstances, I can be brought around to believing that I need it or else who knows what will happen?
These clubs have created intense psychological circumstances, an approach so creative they could crack the most determined of the penny pinchers in their target audience. Their ideal member is resourceful and decisive.
She has access to an unlimited cash flow and knows exclusive items are not to be left in the stores but meant to be purchased and worn.
As much as I try not to succumb, I suspect that my quest to imitate her is going to be expensive and should be avoided.
Maybe it is time to cancel my memberships before it is too late to prevent my credit card balances from rising out of sight.
Manar al Hinai is an Emirati fashion designer and writer. She can be followed on Twitter: @manar_alhinai