We’ve dedicated lots of time and energy to encouraging you to get out and do something else, anything else, other than shop on Black Friday. We’ve even created a list of Fifty Things to Do Other Than Shop on Black Friday. But we’ve kind of just gone along assuming that you’d want to avoid Black Friday. Maybe you need a little nudge to figure out why you’d want to skip Black Friday, and if that’s the case here’s our list of the top ten reasons!
Reason Number One: Stress is Bad for You
Even if you think that you enjoy Black Friday shopping, we’d encourage you to take a beat and consider how much stress you put yourself under for that one day. Whether you camp out at night to catch the earliest door busters or head out at the earliest hour possible on Black Friday itself, the tension is absolutely everywhere. There’s stress about finding a parking spot. There’s stress about fighting the crowds to get what you want. There’s stress just having that many people around you. There’s stress about the money you’re spending. It’s just an entire day devoted as much to stress as it is to consumerism. And stress is bad for you. It ages you. It makes you less healthy. So instead of Black Friday, pick an activity that will help you to reduce stress.
Reason Number Two: Pollution is Bad for You and the Planet
We immediately concede that we could probably pick any event that happens anywhere at any time in the world and talk about how it causes pollution and pollution is a bad thing. However, we’re not talking about all events in the entire world right now, we’re talking about Black Friday. And there is certainly a carbon footprint to that. Take out the basic energy of running a mall, because that would happen anyway. Think of the fumes from all of the cars that drive to Black Friday. Think of the shipping footprint of all of the packages bought on Cyber Monday. Think of the trash from all of the takeout meals eaten during Black Friday.
Reason Number Three: Violence is a Bad Thing
We strongly suspect that nobody reading this is going as far as to trample over people at midnight when store doors open, but the fact that that happens is a reality of the Black Friday establishment. There’s actually an entire website devoted to Black Friday injury and death counts. The thing is, while you may not be directly participating in the violence, by participating in the establishment of Black Friday you are condoning the phenomenon that makes the violence happen. If people stopped shopping Black Friday, these scenarios would go away.
Reason Number Four: There Are Better Types of Merchants to Support
Where are you shopping on Black Friday? The chances that you’re shopping at a locally owned store versus a big box store are frankly somewhat slim. And when you endorse and shop at a Big Box store you endorse all of their practices. That means that you’re supporting a race-to-the-bottom mentality that penalizes both American workers with poor wages and no benefits and also encourages human rights violations in other countries where goods are manufactured to keep prices down so that you can have “amazing” Black Friday deals. This may sound ugly and accusatory, and there are certainly more admirable places to shop on Black Friday, but there’s simply a reality to what you’re enabling when you reward big box stores and their rock bottom pricing.
Reason Number Five: Sleep is Good
It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. You’ve just hosted or attended a family holiday where you ate a ton of food and were social for the better part of a day and evening. You may have cooked for days first. You may have had to travel. You are tired, and the Friday after Thanksgiving was designed for resting, not shopping!
Reason Number Six: Thanksgiving is Good
This one is a special call out to those of you who start Black Friday on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is good. The food. The company. The idea that it’s a day to relax. Most importantly, the idea of really taking time to reflect on what you’re thankful for. You can’t do that if you’re out shopping, especially if you’re shopping during one of the most soulless shopping events of the year.
Reason Number Seven: Time With Your Family (Can Be) Good
We know that this statement isn’t true for everybody. For some people there’s nothing more brain numbing than a day with your family. If that applies to you, then you can skip right over this! But if you love spending time with your family, then pause and ask yourself this: Is the time that you’re giving up with your family worth the “deals” that you’re getting at Black Friday sales? We’re not sure there’s even a scale that can equate those two things, however we think that family time > shopping time, every time.
Reason Number Eight: Most of These Deals Aren’t Truly Real
If you do a tiny bit of research, you’ll quickly find that most of the “amazing” deals that are advertised for Black Friday are “teaser” deals. That means that you’re unlikely to ever actually get to experience the deal. So, for example, if there is a special on flat screen, huge televisions for a hundred dollars, what that means is that there are probably less than five flat screen, huge televisions for a hundred dollars stocked to sell. The first five people will get them (which leads to a lot of the violence and craziness) and nobody else will. It’s not a real deal, because 99.9% of people who go will never have a chance to buy it. But the temptation of the deal might encourage you to get up and shop and get into the store where you will buy (likely lots of) other stuff with a higher profit margin. It’s essentially false advertising, and you are better than that.
Reason Number Nine: Truthfully, These Are Not the Best Prices You’ll Get
If there’s nothing else that we can say to dissuade you from shopping on Black Friday, let us at least appeal to your sense of bargain hunting. The prices and deals that you will get on Black Friday are actually not the best prices and deals that you will be able to get. If you really want to “work the system” then you need to shop a year in advance and take advantage of the clearance prices that happen after the holiday shopping season. That’s when you’re getting the best deals. We feel somewhat dirty even using this as a reason to keep you away from Black Friday, but we’ll absolutely resort to anything to help decrease the size and scope of this event!
Reason Number Ten: Camping. Seriously.
We hurt on the inside a little bit that we even need to dedicate a reason specifically aimed at our friends who camp outside a store the night before Black Friday, but we just want to tell you that if you enjoy your tent that much, there are much better options.
Did we miss a great reason to avoid Black Friday? If so, tell us about it on the social media channels below.
Photo Credit: Diariocritico de Venezuela via Flickr