Is Black Friday really ‘all that’?

After a food-filled Thanksgiving comes America’s biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. For many, it is the official start of the holiday shopping season. On Black Friday many stores offer items at discounted prices and often open early, sometimes as early as midnight. People across the United States plan their whole day around getting the best discounts and sale prices for desired products. 

The most obvious benefit of Black Friday is the variety of great deals that are available throughout the day. At most stores, prices can be the lowest they’ve been all year. Stores usually release their sale prices months before Black Friday to allow shoppers to plan and get a jump-start on their shopping day. One of the biggest attractions of Black Friday are doorbuster deals. During a doorbuster sale, a particular item or a selection of items are offered at a special discount price for a limited time. Many people enjoy the thrill of finding the best doorbuster deals before they sell out. 

“I like Black Friday shopping because there are deals that you can only find once a year that are only offered on Black Friday, you don’t want to miss it,” senior Hope Ridley said.

Another benefit of Black Friday shopping is the opportunity to do some holiday shopping at discounted prices with Christmas just around the corner. Who wouldn’t want to begin their Christmas shopping on the best day to find great deals on toys, electronics, and games? Holiday shopping on Black Friday is a great chance to reduce the stress of holiday season shopping and the financial burden it puts on people.

Some people look forward to Black Friday every year as a day to spend time with friends and family to kick off the holiday season. For some families, Black Friday is an annual post-Thanksgiving tradition. Some even consider this day as an extension of Thanksgiving. 

“It allows you to spend time with family and friends while getting in the festive spirit,” junior Anjali Deborah said. “It also gives you ideas for what they may like for Christmas.”

Even though Black Friday is a great day to shop, there are also multiple factors that put it in the red. One of the main arguments against Black Friday is that it takes away from the meaning and celebration of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for everything in our lives. But then, just a couple of hours later, the biggest consumerism-focused day of the year begins. For most people, Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and be around the family, but the opposite of that – waking up before sunrise, standing in lines for hours, and spending endless amounts of money – is also an equally important Thanksgiving tradition for many. 

Some people, however, believe that despite the yearly anticipation and excitement for this “national holiday”, Black Friday traditions continue to be overrated, more stressful than beneficial, and it goes against everything that Thanksgiving is all about. 

With all of the deals on black Friday comes the temptation to break the budget. The sense of urgency that is created by the fact that the deals are only available for a day can encourage people to spend money in the moment instead of considering if a purchase is reasonable. Many consumers overspend on Black Friday and end up unhappy about their purchases later. 

One of the most disliked things about Black Friday are the lines and crowds of people fighting for the same items. There are always long waits to try on clothes, ask sellers questions, and even to pay. Most shoppers show up early and wait in line for multiple hours for stores to open due to the fear of desired products being sold out. 

The biggest issue of all may be the increase of violence during Black Friday events in recent years. Aisle bumping, line cutting, and parking lot rudeness are to be expected, but recently people have gotten excessively aggressive on Black Friday. Shoppers go from simply cutting in line and grabbing carts from one another to using physical violence and even pepper spray. Having so many people trying to get the same products in an environment that isn’t very controlled can quickly turn unsafe. There will always be people who turn to violence to get what they want. 

“I don’t usually go Black Friday shopping,” senior Chloe Marsh said. “In my opinion, it’s too crazy and hectic.” 

 Overall, Black Friday can be a great day to shop and spend time with family. However, if shoppers aren’t careful, they can easily overspend or even risk getting hurt by aggressive shoppers. Most importantly, the value of Thanksgiving itself must not be forgotten. Shop safely this Black Friday!

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Isabella Brown

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