Socializing on Black Friday [AUDIO]
Every Black Friday, the infamous shopping day after Thanksgiving, is a madhouse that we cannot seem to get enough of.
Waking up early, braving the traffic and crowds, only to fight for the remaining few “sale” items does not seem to deter many shoppers, and there could be reasons beyond the desire to snag a flat screen for a hundred dollars.
Rutgers Sociologist Dr. Deborah Carr said there is an undeniable social aspect to it.
“Not just between the shoppers, who are sometimes waiting on line and forming friendships, but you also hear about some family members, who weave it into their holiday tradition,” Carr explained.
Since Black Friday has become a staple for so many years, Carr said it becomes a yearly routine for family and friends that’s just as much about spending time together as it is shopping.
“They know they and their mom are going to go every year to Wal-Mart at 7 a.m. to buy some toy that they wanted to buy,” she said.
While the crowds, traffic, and hassle can be seen as a deterrent for most people, a portion of shoppers see it as part of the appeal.
“I think some people actually enjoy the thrill of the search. The search for the rare item, the search for the discount product, or even that rush that someone gets from getting to the store early and beating out the crowd,” said Carr.
It doesn’t even have to be an item we particularly even need, Carr said something like Black Friday appeals to our consumer culture.
“Not just in the United States, but in other Western wealthy countries, where we buy things not because we need them, but because we want them,” she said, “and there’s social pressure to have the next bell and whistle.”
Ultimately, she said it’s just something to do for people who have the day off.
“You see advertisements everywhere. It’s kind of an easy way to fill in the day, especially for those who enjoy shopping and acquiring things.”