Yesterday was Thanksgiving, which is pretty much completely muted by #BlackFriday. Though when I caught up on Twitter this morning, the cringe-worthiest tweets weren’t the ones telling me to buy.
This Black Friday don’t buy a bunch of crap you don’t need. Give on #GivingTuesday instead.
I haven’t used an actual tweet here, but I have seen dozens where this is the breakdown of the messaging. I didn’t want to single anyone out, and at the same time simply don’t have enough capacity to share every gross tweet I’ve seen over the past 24 hours.
Gross, guys. Seriously gross.
1) People buy shit, a lot of shit, today. And they’re going to, likely until the complete collapse of this society.
2) Antagonism has no place in fundraising. Spare me the anxiety and guilt trips.
3) While it’s screwed up, people are scrambling through shops on this day and this month to get things to give to their families. They have justified it in their own minds as much as the system has encouraged them to justify it.
4) This is a piggy back movement. If you don’t like the beast of Black Friday, don’t ride on its shoulders to the bank. If you’re trying to build a movement where people are going, be there in a positive way: ie, get businesses involved in some way. Create pressure on business to give back on Black Friday as an act of social responsibility, don’t put pressure on people to be involved in one and not the other.
5) Hilariously enough, many of these tweets admonishing Black Friday shopping didn’t even hashtag #BlackFriday. I think this is what the kids are calling an #EpicFail or what my dad would call preaching to the converted.
6) The dangers of having to express a huge idea in 140 characters or less are apparent: the emotional tone you intend when composing isn’t going to match the reader. Be mindful of this when you’re trying to be encouraging or playful and wind up sounding like a judgmental wiener.
I don’t support Black Friday marketing tactics, and try my best to adhere to a policy of not buying anything. My personal belief is that the system propelling us to consume is a monstrous one. Strong advocates like the Occupy Movement and Anonymous are tweeting a lot about solidarity with workers and the Buy Nothing movement, which has been around for decades.
Let’s decide: are we trying to leverage the momentum of the season, or change the system? We can’t do both. And one is a lot harder than the other.
Sorry, guys. I am being a complete curmudgeonly grinch about this, it is just incredibly disappointing for me.