Every year, I’m amazed at the number of Black Friday videos that appear on the news. Clips of grown men tackling each other to buy heavily-discounted flat screen TVs are both entertaining and mildly amusing to watch. One has to wonder why people line up outside Walmart in the wee hours of the morning to take advantage of Black Friday deals.
Personally, I prefer to stay away from the mayhem. It’s not worth risking my life for a flat screen TV or laptop that will probably become obsolete in a few years. Horror stories of people being killed in Black Friday stampedes tend to occupy my mind as well. Again, I have to question peoples’ sanity. Is it the thrill of getting their hands on an enviable item the reason that people risk injury, arrest or even death? I can’t even begin to comprehend the rationale for harming others, especially children, just to buy something that will most likely be thrown into a dark corner of the closet.
Given that I am Canadian, perhaps it is fair to say that I don’t understand the meaning of Black Friday. While that is true, I have to argue that encouraging people to use physical force for the sake of purchasing a few household items is a very interesting way to promote one’s culture. Endangering your own safety and the safety of others for short-term gratification will not benefit anyone in the long run. Some injuries are permanent, death is irreversible, and criminal records will almost always present limitations to career opportunities. So why do people still justify the madness that is Black Friday? It’s a question that continues to puzzle me.
Since the advent of technology, companies have started to gravitate towards online Black Friday sales (which I strongly support). Having customers purchase items online is a much better way of generating excitement and publicity compared to mad dashes towards store entrances at the stroke of midnight. It also lets people shop from the comfort of their beds, which is much more relaxing compared to being packed into stores like a sardine.
The point is, Black Friday shopping can be an enjoyable experience if we all show some consideration and concern for the well-being of others. Don’t let an overly-commercialized holiday cloud your judgement and sense of morality.