I’m not sure how long the infamous Black Friday craze has been a big deal in the States, but here in Europe it’s a relatively new thing. It’s honestly a weird hype, that I dont think is very healthy for our shopping habits and I feel like we, as consumers, need to take a step back and think before we support this marekting trend with our hard-earned money.
I am however, happy to see that certain brands have actually taken stand against this movement, and created what is called “Green Friday”, where they don’t lower their prices, but instead donate a certain amount of their profit from this day to various different charities, which I think it a nice change and a move in the right direction.
Let me just list a few of the reasons why I’m not a fan of the concept of Black Friday:
It encourages greediness
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against anyone taking advantage of the opportunities of a great sale. I understand most of us don’t have limitless ressources, and so we want to be smart about about it and stay within our (sometimes very tight) budgets. So if you’ve been needing, wanting, or looking for a specific thing or two throughout the year and you want to consciously wait for the Black Friday sale to purchase these item to save your family money, then by all mean, do that.
Take advantage of the sale consciously and stick to carefully thought out items that you truly need and that you would be purchasing regardless of wether they were on sale or not. What I’m not a fan of is making an event out of the whole thing and getting so super hyped to the point where you see people pushing each other over in the American malls, and getting into fights over a red sweater from H&M. Really people?…
Don’t just through away a bunch of your money mindlessly “just because”, on a bunch of things you’ve never even considered purchasing until you get to the store see the “80% off” on the prize tag, and in the heat of the moment realise you now suddenly can’t live without a pair of dungarees. Or a pair of christmas tree earrings and a unicorn t-shirt. “But it had a monochrome print on it” – I don’t care!
It messes with our minds
The marketing behind the concept of Black Friday is super manipulative and unhealthy in my eyes. It’s telling people that their lives aren’t good enough just the way they are, and that they can’t ever accumulate enough stuff. That they’re incomplete somehow. ‘More is more’ is a vicious, addictive cycle to get sucked into. To resist the urge to splurge, we need to clinch our butt cheeks together, and work on our gratitude muscle instead.
Please just don’t give in to all the seductive discounts. Remember, it’s 100% off if you don’t buy it, so how’s that for saving some major coins? And you’ll be so proud you resisted. Stores make it sound like they’re selflessly doing you a favor by lowering their prices, so you can lose all your common sense and shop your little heart out, when all they really care about is making a profit, selling you things you don’t need. And clapping their little cold moist hands as you walk out of the store, not realising you’ve just been mind-punk’d.
Leaves us feeling drained and empty
Everything that goes up, eventually must come back down. Like a sugar rush, followed by a horrible blood sugar crash, the same can happen in a shopping situation. You might feel great in the moment, but as soon as you sleep on it and you wake up with a fresh new perspective, you might look at all your newly purchased belongings, and instead of the joy you expected, you’re met with feelings of overwhelm, stress and guilt. Buyer’s remorse as they say.
It’s likely that you got blindsided by all the deals that sounded too good to be true and all the crazy discounts, but afterwards you might realise you now have to store a bunch of extra things, that won’t bring you joy in the long run and that you didn’t even need in the first place. Realising all the money you just spent could have been put to much better use, is a major bummer.
Do we really need more things?
Do you really want to keep supporting this shopping madness and showing our kids that shopping is like a hoppy and is just there for you to get a quick fix from if you’re feeling low? I want to teach my child that things have value and that a certain amount of thought is required before you fork over your vallet to a total stranger, trying to convince you of what you need. Know yourself well enough and learn to feel it in your gut if you’re truly excited by an item or you’re being lured in by clever (=manipulating) marketing. It’s all a scheme and they’re out to get into your wallet.
We should value and appreciate how lucky we are to own the things we already have. More just equals more mental clutter, because it will require more storage and organisation on your part. So try to free yourself and the people in your life from that as much as possible. Mental clarity is da bomb dot com.
The environment pays the bill
If you want some effective and motivating things to think about to help you fight temptation, than just consider the high costs the production of these items has already had on the environment, and now they’re basically giving them away for pennies, so they can continue to overproduce cheap products of bad quality and fill their shelves with more unnecessary stuff. It’s an ungrateful business model and unsustainable process, if you ask me.
Think of the massively underpaid workers in developing countries, the horrifying pollution it has added to our planet, how many struggling humans and animals have been hurt in the process of creating these shallow, dead things for us, that we don’t even need or truly appreciate.
So many items are already produced at crazy cheap prizes, so let’s not support the unethical practises that so many companies still operate under. But rather give them the cold shoulder and show them that we’re brighter than that and we, the planet and the poorly treated workers deserve so much better. Make them do better.
So please mix it up this year and vote with the absence of your your credit card and by not letting yourself get sucked in to the trend of unconscious consumerism, ultimately just resulting in a deeper sense of empty unhappiness.
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you“ – Robert Fulgham.