In watching these videos of footage from today’s Black Friday’s stampedes, I honestly just do not understand this. I don’t. Why do people do this? They are very apparently risking injury to themselves and others, as well as being a target for robberies and a possible punching bag for an irate shopper simply standing next to you.
Why? These prices and deals will continue up until and well after Christmas, even though most ads provide a timeline, i.e. “Friday 5 AM to 9 PM only”. Do not fall for this. It is merely a ploy to get consumers in and buy NOW. These prices ARE available, and often discounted after Black Friday. In fact, discounting post-Black Friday is very common as the company want to profit as much as they can, so they take advantage of the consumer on Black Friday and price items, yes at a discount, but not at their bottom line discount price. With the expected volume, of course they will make more of a profit.
Often shoppers fear that if they do not buy a specific item on Black Friday, it will sell out. Do not buy into this (pun intended). The stock will be replenished. These are NOT the last of any item being produced. There are thousands, if not millions, available after today.
Online shopping… if you look online, there are so many other virtual stores to shop from which actually provide better deals. Many offer discount or coupon codes which waive the cost of shipping – if not already waived. Every single electronic item I have purchased in the past year has been done so online. I do not waste my time driving to, nor standing in line at the stores – they all come to me. So many people want the instant gratification of having it NOW that they cannot wait the average 5 days for shipping. Additionally, the variety available online is much more diverse. When shopping in stores, it is almost as if the store is telling you what to buy simply by limiting the options available.
The main reason people lose any resemblance to sanity and venture forth into the jungle land of Black Friday is because our media has inundated their minds – a literal advertising brain-wash. Here is a slide show of various ads on Black Friday sales – and I know we have all seen these ads, so there are only a few here:
Between the flyer ads and TV advertisement, Black Friday and “buy now, buy now, buy now” are permanently – and unknowingly – etched in the mind of the consumer. A literal programming occurs within our society via the mass media.
Take a look at this scene from a movie made in 1988, “They Live” by John Carpenter. Although this is science fiction, it is not that far from the truth. No, we do not have subliminal messages as shown is this movie and clip, but our media performs a more direct subliminal message. Since birth, we are all trained to buy, shop, and consume. Of course, we all need to shop, we all need to consume… but not near the extent the media and companies are directing us. Then there is the battle so many people fight of “keeping up with the Jones’s.” Having to have the best, most recent item out there. Especially when it comes to electronics. Yes, our technology improves in leaps and bounds on a daily basis. But there is no need to have the latest and greatest each and every time an updated model comes out. If your current model is working fine and keeps you “happy”, then simply just use it until it truly is time to purchase the next updated model. Also, keep in mind… whenever you buy the latest release, the company you are buying from has already designed the next model which they will hold and release a year or so down the road. Electronics are typically outdated, even though they may have just been released, the moment you buy it. Another ploy of profit. I just recently purchased a Canon Rebel T2i, and the T3i model was already released and available. What is the difference? Primarily the T3i offers a movable LED screen which fold out from the main body of the camera and may be rotated. Yes, a nice plus, but not necessary. I use the eye viewfinder most of the time anyway. So, by purchasing the previous model, I saved a couple hundred of dollars – and I love my new camera!
If you are not familiar with this movie, the basic premise is that aliens are living among us, but disguised to look like humans. They are actually the ones in complete control of all people throughout the world. Through subliminal messages, we are subconsciously brainwashed without realizing it. In this clip, the main actor, Roddy Piper, stumbles upon a box of sunglasses. In wearing these sunglasses, the human see the world in black and white, which is ironic in itself, but this allows the bearer of the glasses to see the aliens for what they truly are as well as the subliminal messages hidden throughout society. One of the most shocking is the message hidden on our money which states “This is your God.” This technically is science fiction, but if you equate the aliens as today’s corporations, media and government, then suddenly it is now non-fiction.
What are alternatives? Like I mentioned above, wait. Prices will drop, and the stock will not deplete. If it is not a gift for Christmas you are purchasing, wait until after Christmas. The prices will be significantly lower.
Shop online. Better variety, and often, better prices.
Want to give a special gift which you cannot buy in any store? And pay less than $10 to do so? Create a video. I did this for many members of my family last year. Since I do not have any personal photos – as I am half the country’s distance away – I “hijacked” their Facebook profiles. I downloaded pictures which I knew were special to them. Specifically with one cousin, who does a lot of hiking with his girlfriend, I downloaded the photos he posted of their hiking trips. He also had listed in his profile his favorite songs. So, by using Windows Movie Maker, which comes with any Windows operating system, I dropped in the photos, his favorite song, did some transitions, and voila! A gift which brought tears to his eyes. No Wal*Mart, no Macy’s, or any other store has my gift available.
Another cousin who did not have very many pictures available happens to be a marathon runner. So by simply downloading some dramatic and touching scenes from various marathon footage, adding his favorite song, I created this video (which happens to be the only video gift I have online – the others were burned onto DVD’s, thus the $10 pricing, and gift wrapped).
Additionally, for my boyfriend, we had recently taken a trip to Taos NM. I made a very special video from the photos and video from our trip. Again, a stream of tears erupted as this gift was more special than any store can sell. I added some personal messages to which no greeting card can provide. These are truly the priceless gifts of the world. Yes, I had to start these videos early in December, but I enjoyed making each and every one of them. Additionally, I found out more about some of my family members that I did not know because of the photos they have.
I can hear some people now… “I don’t know how to make a video.” Well, until I made one, I didn’t either. I created my first video almost exactly one year ago, November 2010, which was simply a slide show of photos I had taken at our local Doggie Dash and Dawdle event – and fundraiser for the NM Humane Society. It took a few hours to dink around in the Windows program, but it wasn’t brain surgery… I figured it out. In fact, I so loved making that video, I immediately became addicted. And with having a degree and background in graphic design, I decided this was what I wanted to do, along with my photography and graphics. I have now built myself a literal production studio computer of my own. It took a year in the making, but the effort was worth every penny (oh, and all computer parts were purchased on line). You never know… trying something new for the first time may lead to a new hobby. Of course, if you decide you enjoy making videos, you do not need to go to the extent I did. This happens to be my passion, and eventually I will be advertising my services for freelance work.
Where am I going with this last train of thought? Break away from the mainstream! It does not have to necessarily be in making videos, but follow your heart. Do not follow what the media, government and especially the “Big Box Store” corporations tell you to follow. You will be amazed at what is out there in life and in our world.
In closing, I leave you with the first video I ever created on November 15, 2010 (and yes, the year is wrong in the video – it says 2011. It should read 2010). And will follow it up with the most recent video created, almost exactly one year later on November 14, 2011.