Perhaps I am a bit of a “spoil sport,” but in the USA, I usually stayed home and enjoyed the peace and quiet, rather than going out shopping on Black Friday. Now that I live full time in South America, I still cannot fully escape Black Friday. It’s all over the internet and some form of Black Friday Sale was in just about every single email I saw in my inbox this morning when I woke up.
To me, Black Friday is a totally made up holiday “must do” yearly shopping experience, created by people who capitalize on the fact that everyone likes a bargain. They know that you will buy a whole lot more other stuff that you really don’t need while you’re there at their store in the mall or out trolling on their website looking for your “must have” items.
Here in South America, they don’t have the traditional “Thanksgiving Holiday” and so there is no “Black Friday Day After Thanksgiving Shopping Event.” Frankly, this is kind of a relief. No more unconscious or conscious consumerism everywhere I look, the day after Thanksgiving Holiday, in stores at least.
I must be honest and say that I did check out several of the online Black Friday Deals just for fun this morning. I wanted to observe my reactions to all the online consumerism temptation so I could write an honest blog here.
In some ways it was the best of both worlds. I could see what was available if I wanted it, while I could also sit peacefully, sipping my coffee out on our deck overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean here in Chile while I did it.
I’ll admit I saw lots of great deals online, but the shipping costs and import taxes to South America exceeded the value of every item that I thought looked even remotely interesting, even at the Black Friday Sale price.
So while I didn’t get the consumer conquerers “buzz” of buying anything for a good deal, I did save myself from any and all buyers remorse of buying something I really didn’t need.
I read this blog below by Seth Godin this morning and I loved it. I couldn’t have said how I feel about Black Friday any better myself so I thought I would pass it along to you in case you missed it.
I hope these words help you resist the temptation offered by the retailers of Black Friday to lure you into the mindset of greed and consumerism, moving you off your center, shifting you from the mind set of “not enough” to “more, more, more.”
“Black Friday, of course, is a con.
But it’s also a symptom of a terrible trap we’ve set for ourselves.
Consider the joy a little kid has the first time he spends his own money to buy an ice cream cone. This isn’t something he does every day, it’s not something he has to do, it’s not something he’s trying to get over with. Instead, the entire process unrolls in slow motion. It’s consumption, no doubt about it, the last step in a long industrial/agricultural/marketing system. But at least this last step is special beyond words.
Now, consider the mall. The mall, today.
For the three billion people on Earth who have never experienced air conditioning, window displays and the extraordinary safety and wealth that the mall represents, a trip to the mall is mindblowing. For the typical consumer, egged on by a media frenzy and harried by a completely invented agenda, today is nothing but a hassle.
All that time, all that money, all those emotions spent for not one good reason.
It’s more about what you didn’t get on sale, or how many more people you need to “cross off” or just how much shiny but useless stuff you can grab faster than the next person. A reversal of 100,000 years of not enough to a brief few decades of more, more, more.
Every person reading this today has access to more wealth than the last King of France did. An astounding array of choices, a bounty of available connections and emotions.
Don’t let someone else scam you into being unhappy.”
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