The Enchanting Mess that is Black Friday

By Adam Grassani, Staff Writer

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Photo courtesy of Nell Smith via Flickr

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and you know what that means. The holiday season is in full swing. Everyone is putting up their decorations and Christmas music is back on radio stations as well as everyone’s iTunes playlists. Most of all, everyone is flooding stores, like Toys “R” Us, Target and Walmart, to do their holiday shopping. This leads to the infamous day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday.

Looking at it on the surface, the concept of Black Friday does not seem so bad. In fact, it seems perfect. A day where all of the hottest toys, electronics and anything else that could be on the market gets significant discounts is absolutely genius in theory.

The problem with Black Friday, of course, is the stigma surrounding it and the chaos that is bound to ensue during the shopping day. Every year during Black Friday, all you have to do is turn on the news, and chances are you will find multiple stories of chaos regarding shoppers trampling each other for mere goods. Some even go as far as intentionally harming others to get what they want, such as the infamous pepper spray incident in 2011.

In fact, there is a website called blackfridaydeathcount.com, which counts the number of people killed or injured during Black Friday shopping. As of today, the website has counted a total of 10 deaths and 111 injuries during Black Friday since 2006. The irony that is often pointed out is that Black Friday is the day right after Thanksgiving: the day that we give thanks for what we have. Is it not hypocritical of us to be fighting 24 hours after we are supposed to show gratitude? That is exactly what Black Friday brings to the table.

Some of us are not aware that there have been plenty of examples of Black Friday shopping done right. My experience during Black Friday in 2015 is a perfect one. My mother and I woke up at four in the morning to go to GameStop to pick up a PlayStation 4. That was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The store was calm and the employees and shoppers were kind and friendly. Most importantly, we were able to save money during Christmas shopping and have fun while doing it without all the chaos.

There are many examples of Black Friday shopping done right, particularly at stores like GameStop, Toys “R” Us and Target. It can be such a great experience enjoying everything you bought and being able to create great memories while shopping. Unfortunately, all of the good experiences are ruined by places like large malls and Walmart, where the dangerous atmosphere is a lot more common.

In a nutshell, the negative stigma and numerous incidents surrounding Black Friday ruins what could be a great experience.

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