Down with Black Friday


A shopper looks for deals on Black Friday in Seattle. An estimated $682 billion was spent on Black Friday in 2017 | Photo courtesy Associated Press/Elaine Thompson

In the past decade, the rise and rapid expansion of the shopping extravaganza that is Black Friday has evolved into a beast of its own. And it is something that needs to be curtailed.

Since the turn of this decade, total money spent on Black Friday has skyrocketed. In 2010, $529.4 billion was spent by shoppers, per the financial company The Balance. Yes, indeed a staggering amount.

Last year, that number jumped to $655.8 billion — an average of $935.58 spent per shopper. In only six years, there has been an $126.4 billion increase in total money spent on Black Friday.

Numbers are still raw, but estimates by The Balance place the figure for 2017 at $682 billion. There is no way around it, Black Friday has become a behemoth. Us as a society are all responsible for the sensitization of Black Friday.

There used to be a time when Black Friday actually started on Friday, and when people were not getting into fights over electronics.  Now, retail workers are forced to head into work ON Thanksgiving and we have seen people sent to the hospital due to injuries sustained in altercations over consumer goods.

Instead of getting to spend quality with their families and consuming copious amounts of food — a part of what the holidays are about — they are are confined to their workspace. All of this puts capitalism and profit first, rather than the Thanksgiving spirit. These workers deserve to be at home with their loved ones.

By participating in those early Black Friday deals, the issue is only aggravated further. The first step in scaling down the enormity of Black Friday begins with at least waiting until after midnight. Give those workers a chance to have a hearty meal with their loved ones before you begin your shopping odyssey.

But in order to really tackle the issue that is Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday should be your options for your holiday shopping. With these, retail workers are spared having to work on Thanksgiving or the day right after. That offers for more time with the family — the true essence of the holiday season.

In Small Business Saturday, not only are you supporting local businesses, but you are also helping to alleviate the issues that arise with Black Friday. It is a win-win.

In Cyber Monday, you completely remove the aspect of working over the holiday weekend while still getting those insane discount deals. Thus lessening the negativity that Black Friday brings and contributing to the economy — the best of both worlds.

We are not saying you should avoid spending money. We understand these deals are rare and benefit the purchaser greatly. We know the positive effect it has on the economy. We are just saying be mindful before you start your shopping. The holiday season should be highlighted by compassion, and it is about time we started thinking about that first and foremost.