Britt: Black Friday overconsumption

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Britt's most recent purge of old items. -Photo via Paige Britt

I love spending money. It is one of my favorite things to do. I fight urges to go shopping and buy clothes I don’t need. I’ve been through the trends of Amazon and Shein, scrolling through hauls worth hundreds of dollars of cheap clothing. And then I turned to thrifting, which is a better alternative but was still used as a means to feed my cravings. 

Being on social media, I have been exposed to both sides of the spectrum. I have seen the extreme amounts of money spent on items that influencers swear that you need, and I have seen the commentary on over-consumption and the act of “deinfluencing” people. 

An article from cnn.com defined de-influencing as, “an emerging social media trend that discourages consumers from buying certain products that the de-influencer has found to be indulgent, ineffective or not worth the money, says Kris Ruby, a social media analyst and president of Ruby Media Group.”

As we get closer and closer to the holidays, I just keep thinking of all the things I want to buy and feel like I have to buy. It is mid-November, Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened, and somehow, I feel like I’m late on my holiday shopping. 

This is the exact feeling that companies are hoping to foster this time of year. Luckily, when the clock strikes midnight on Thanksgiving, we can celebrate the true holiday November is known for: Black Friday. 

Black Friday has always been something I’ve been afraid of. For as long as I can remember, I have been warned of the horrors of Black Friday. The bloodthirsty crowds of people fist-fighting in malls and swarming Walmart at 4 a.m. for the best deals on TVs. Those who want to participate in this madness from the comfort of their home can do that on Cyber Monday just a few days later. 

Pointing out the absurdity of the American experience that is Black Friday is not a new idea. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still strange. We blow by Thanksgiving like it is a holiday holding us back from the big event that is the month of December. A day that we all just have to suffer through to get to the fun stuff. I’m not here to make an argument that Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday; it has a dark history and can be a tough day for some people. For some people, it is just Thursday. On a surface level, it is a time to reflect on your relationships, spend time with loved ones, and practice gratitude for all that you have in life. And the next day is spent collecting things that you don’t have. 

This year, I urge everyone to reflect on everything you do have in life and all the things you do not need. No matter how big the sale is or how life-changing someone claims it to be, the “thing” that everyone is raving about will get replaced by something else, because that’s just the cycle. The original it-item will be tossed aside, sitting on a shelf collecting dust. 

Be mindful, be thoughtful, and be grateful this Thanksgiving season. To the people around you, and to your wallet as well. 

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