Why Do We Still Celebrate Black Friday?

Ditching quality time with family at Thanksgiving and waiting in line for 2 hours to get 20% off a toaster… there’s nothing quite like Black Friday!

In most cases, the deals that people are redeeming on Black Friday are probably a little better than 20% off a toaster, or at least I would hope so. Still, I find it hard to believe that so many people conveniently need a 49" Samsung LED TV or Apple Watch when this weekend rolls around every year. Beyond that, most of the bargains aren’t even bargains at all, unless you like Pokemon Cards — apparently they’re 50% off at select Target stores, so get moving.

But at the same time, people aren’t dumb… generally speaking. So why is Black Friday still a thing?

It’s a Social Event

I don’t think anyone is out scavenging the shelves of Target at 1 am on their own. If you do see someone like this, you should probably just avoid eye contact and keep walking.

My personal memories of Black Friday all include fun times with family and friends. Sure, I would have rather not dealt with the plump woman in 2010 who tried to fight me for my Nerf gun, but I usually had an awesome time.

I remember things like squeezing the entire family into a small van and comparing our purchases to each others, as well as discovering spontaneous purchases (that’s how they get ya). I remember things like rolling into Walmart with my friends and a checklist, feeling like we were on a treasure hunt of some sort.

When it comes down to it, Black Friday is just fun, and you want to be a part of the experience. Yeah, you can always recap the crazy fights and chaos on Instagram, but let me tell you, it’s always so much better in person.

It’s Convenient

You might say that you’re shopping on Black Friday because it’s a better deal, but you’re really just shopping on Black Friday because you were too lazy to buy holiday gifts in advance. Why shop intermittently throughout the year when you can knock out everyone’s gifts in one go? We all know how the logic goes:

40% off a George Foreman Grill? I think I’ve seen my uncle grill a steak once... Alright who’s next on the list?

And hey, don’t take it personally… you’re not alone. I’m sure there’s some research study out there that shows us we’re all super lazy. I’ll go look for one right now.

Alright there you go, “humans are wired to be lazy” — BBC said it, not me.

It’s Tradition!

As a business student, I heard this quote from an ungodly amount of people:

“The most dangerous phrase is: ‘We’ve always done it this way.’”

But now that I think of it, another quote I’ve heard even more is:

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Since I’ve heard the latter more often, I’ll go with that logic.

But really, for most people, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have gone hand in hand their whole lives. There is something special about tradition — it’s the ultimate defense to any argument. For example, former LSU football coach Les Miles used to eat the grass off the field before every big game, but it was fine because it was “tradition” (what??).

In the same way, going crazy for Black Friday is a famed tradition in America and something that we, as consumers, should honestly cherish. With the huge rise of e-commerce and things like “Cyber Monday,” who’s to say how many years of this madness we have left? I, for one, am guilty as an e-commerce shopper. Instead of experiencing the phenomenon of Black Friday, I’ll be on my couch looking for ways to waste money on Amazon instead.

So this Black Friday, don’t be like me — go out and enjoy this nonsensical, stupid tradition. Who knows, you might actually find some decent deals.

P.S — this is my first ever Medium article so congrats if you made it this far. Also since I’m just getting started I would appreciate all the support I can get! Thanks y’all.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.