Black Friday: A shopper’s dream or nightmare?

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Cartoon by Nate Beeler from Tribune Media Content used with permission

Cece Walczynski, Reporter

A predatory herd approaches it’s prey. The mission is simple, get in and get out with the prize. The clock strikes six as the stampede tears through the doors. The mass rushes to every individual’s goal, whether it be a low price laptop or a brand new Vera Bradley. Fists are thrown and carts are tipped in an attempt to grab anything, because this is a once in a lifetime sale. The savages then run to the checkout line, throw their cash, and rush on to the next attack, leaving behind no regrets and plenty of crushed victims.

This example may a bit over dramatic, but one very clear event pops into everyone’s minds; Black Friday shopping. Some of us have personally lived the terror, while others are wise enough to stay as far ways as possible. Regardless, Black Friday is a massive frenzy of panic. It has become nothing more than a way for people to spend globs of money, and not feel as guilty about it. Even though it is probably the most dangerous “holiday” to date, it does not struggle for shoppers.

The most well know story that has highlighted the danger of Black Friday is the Walmart incident back in 2008. A Walmart employe was stampeded to death when she was crushed behind a door as people bombarded their way in five minutes before the store was to open Ranker.com reported. Many victim accounts have floated around the internet of people being shoved, punched, and throwing plenty of choice words over single items.

The fact that people are so concerned about buying their material items is a saddening reality to grasp.

Joey Tylka, a sophomore at DePaul University, recalls his experience Black Friday shopping. He said, ” I went to Target to try and buy a new laptop, but after being pushed and hit, all that was left for me to buy was a bottle of Febreeze.”

This kind of violence is unnecessary and is another reason why Black Friday is not worth it.

As if the violence isn’t enough to scare away customers, the rituals might be. Yes, people actually perform a seance before they buy an item. An example is that Walmart this year is selling their iPad mini for $199 plus a $30 gift card at 6 o’clock, but at 8 o’clock they are selling laptops for $159.

Laura Plata, a senior at Palatine High School states, “I have seen people performing rituals over products. They dance around the bins at Walmart and count down until the sale happens. Its like New Years, but for shopping.” As if this day can’t get any weirder, the opening times for stores tops it all.

The time that stores open is enough to shake your head at. Large corporations such as Target, Khols, and Walmart open as early as 6 o’clock on Thursday the 27th, which is Thanksgiving. Black Friday shopping is not even on a Friday anymore, it is instead right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. That gives families little to no time together to celebrate, because they are being overrun by product placement.

With plenty of shoppers arriving earlier and earlier to stores, that affects employes the most out of all of the people. They do not get to enjoy their Thanksgiving at all because they are being forced to go in early and set up the stores.

Nora Walsh, a senior at Palatine High School, says, “I have to work on Thursday now from 5:30 pm to 2:30 Am, so I guess I will be plastic wrapping my Thanksgiving dinner for later.”

The cake topper of this whole crazy event is how desperate companies are to have people buy their products. Their is Pre Black Friday shopping that has already begun both online and in stores, the actually Black Friday shopping, and then cyber Monday, that is the same thing as Black Friday, but online. It’s even advised on Walmart’s website that shoppers arrive an hour early to wait in a line outside the store, and they titled it: Don’t take a chance with Christmas.

Our society has become so dependent on materialistic products that no one realizes that Black Friday is just a huge marketing scam. It detaches people from quality family time on Thanksgiving and instead makes corporate CEO’s wallets fat with consumer buying. Just remember that products can’t buy you love.