Right now the internet is filled with Black Friday advice. Which doorbusters to avoid, which places have the best deals, which places are open at 3 a.m. so you can really find the best deal. What they won’t tell you is the odds of you getting trampled to death waiting in line for bargins. Fortunately I am here, and I can tell you that you’re odds of dying while shopping on the most holiest of retail shopping days is, in fact, Statistically Insignificant.
You probably won’t die. You probably have never even met someone that might die in a sale gone horribly wrong. But someone will. Hell, it happens every year. This is being posted just before midnight, Pacific Time, on Black Friday Eve. So I don’t know what is going to happen. Maybe everything will run smoothly.
I won’t bother with stats, and I won’t bother with links to Black Friday fights in the past. Of people fighting over the most insignificant items. We’ve seen them, we’ve heard about them, it may not happen every where but it does happen.
Anytime you get that many strangers in competition over something, no matter what it is, there is going to be aggression. There is going to be violence. There are going to be casualities. In this case people want to save some money. They’ve been convinced they will save infinate amount of dollars if they wake up at the break of dawn and start shopping. They are invested in what they are doing, and every other person around them when the arrive an hour before the store opens is just as invested. Fighting, mob mentality, trampling deaths, these all come out of it.
So why are we supporting it? It helps retailers, it helps business, it helps the economy. Fine. I get that. And it isn’t going away. I just don’t think that people hold themselves accountable. If you are in a group of shoppers somewhere and someone has died in the pursuit of savings, you are responsible. Not legally, hell even morally it’s questionable, but you are responsible. You are being part of the problem because your adding to the risk that someone will get seriously hurt or killed just by being there. And for the individual the best case scenerio is that they will save some money on their Christmas shopping. And the worst case scenerio is that they will have to buy a couple of less gifts this year to make their budget.
That doesn’t mean I think Black Friday is all that horrible. In fact, I think it is one of the greatest promotions ever conceived. Hell, half the damn nation is shopping that day. All I ask is that shoppers remember they are trying to save a few dollars and that if they don’t their lives will go on. Don’t let emotion take over. Don’t storm the front doors. This isn’t a war you are raging, this is a chance to buy discount electronics. Be yourself, remember it isn’t life and death, and enjoy the opening of the shopping season. Because having everyone survive the shopping the season is way more important than having to buy a few presents at the Dollar Store.
Prioritize. That’s all I ask.