By Grace Kyle
Jesuit Crusader (Portland, Oregon)
Black Friday is arguably not worth the hype, unless you love being trampled by sweaty people fighting to get the pair of Beats.
“Black Friday” originated in the 1950’s by Philadelphia police officers, referring to the flood of people into the city Friday after Thanksgiving to watch the Army-Navy football game (CNN). However, the term wasn’t widely used until 1985, when Black Friday was consumed by consumerism.
According to CNN, in 2016, 154 million Americans fled to their local department stores seeking the best deals.
Despite the discounts, many people have opted out of participating in Black Friday due to timing. Every year, Black Friday gets pushed closer into Thanksgiving, and some stores have even started opening on Thanksgiving Night. This angers many, as they want to enjoy time with their families, not wait in line for hours.
In 2016, popular stores such as Walmart and Target, opened their doors at 6 pm on Thanksgiving night, while Best Buy and Toys R US chose to open even earlier at 5 pm (CNN Money).
Although one could argue that early opening doesn’t mean people have to be there exactly at opening, this isn’t quite true. According to Dallas News, televisions that were on sale, sold out within 5 minutes of the doors being open. One man even set up a tent and lived outside of a Florida Best Buy for seven days before Black Friday, just to ensure he was first in line (CNN).
“I wouldn’t go because my cousins always went and they had to miss part of Thanksgiving dinner, which was a bummer,” senior Ryan McKelligon said.
If waiting in line and missing Thanksgiving isn’t reason enough to pass on the shopping, the safety hazard should be. Since 2006, there has been 10 deaths due to Black Friday and 105 people injured (Black Friday Death Count).
In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death, when the flood of people came bursting through the door, and she fell down and was unable to get back up. Five minutes before the doors were opening, people started pressing against the door until it shattered and people later described the scene as horrific as people kept on shopping and payed no attention to the employee or numerous other injured people (The New York Times).
The danger of being trampled is too real for Jesuit senior Olivia Osbourne.
“I would rather not participate because I always hear about people getting injured and it’s not worth the risk.”
Despite the deals, that only someone who waited in line for hours on Thanksgiving night would get, Black Friday is too dangerous. A smart alternative to venturing out that day is to wait until Cyber Monday, the following Monday, to enjoy getting good deals from the comfort of one’s home.
Studies show that Cyber Monday is less time consuming than shopping on Black Friday and there is a greater selection of products online than in store.
“Personally I choose Cyber Monday because its more convenient and then I don’t have to miss out on Thanksgiving, also I can participate during class and don’t have to wait in line for hours,” Jesuit senior Kate Tobin.
Photo Credit: Powhusku