I haven't read the entire thread yet, but I watched the video and others like it today.
For the longest time, I never understood the draw of buying things in this manner. I look at this stuff and think, we don't really need it, The
workers who made these products probably risked their health to make these things for low wages. In the end, the items will end up polluting in a
landfill, whether or not the person receiving the item wanted it.
I'm the kind of person who likes to give and make thoughtful and needed gifts. Buying something this way doesn't make any sense to me. In the past,
I'd look at these people with disgust, however, I'm not so sure anymore. I read an article today that showed me the minds of these shoppers. My
conclusion is our society and these people need help.
This article "Why Must we Buy?" Tacoma News Tribune
is a reprint of an AP article written in Beaverton, PA.
It gives insight into the madness. Some key quotes:
They know shopping like this is wrong and they should be spending their time with family
They did not go blindly: In dozens of interviews, people acknowledged how spending has become inseparable from the holidays. Older folks pined for the
days of Erector Sets and Thumbelinas while in line to pay iPad prices. Even some younger shoppers said it felt wrong to be spending money instead of
quality time on Thanksgiving.
They feel material items are a way to show love.
Yet amid these protests, people still talked about feeling powerless beneath the moment - as if they had no choice but to shop. "You have to have
these things to enjoy your children and your family," said Jackson's friend Ebony Jones, who had secured two laptops ($187.99 each) for her 7 and 11
year olds. ...
"It shouldn't be that way, but in a sense there's no way around it," said Jones, a nurse. "Everything ends up with a dollar amount. Even your
Retailers have long capitalized on the holiday season's perfect storm of emotion and tradition. "We all want to be loved, we all like to give
Black Friday shopping is traditional and not something they want to change.
"You get up in the morning, cook, do your dinner and your football, then you go shopping," River said. "It's the new thing now. Everyone's afraid
.... "Shopping IS the holiday. That's all people care about - what are you gonna get?"
It's a bonding experience.
Childhood friends Jesse Bredholt, Ryan Seech and a few other buddies have camped out at Best Buy for four years straight. This year, they arrived a
full week early, with a tent, sleeping bags, deodorizing mist sprayer, propane heater and battery power for their gadgets.
They had no idea what they would buy. That was not the point
For this group of single men in their early 20s, part of a generation who mark the passage of time by their first cell phones and video games, the
point is spending time with each other at the source of the products that have always defined their lives.
People have a sense of community and family from the shared experience.
Karen Jefferson, 49, also has found family on line at Best Buy, beyond her husband and three children. She was there Wednesday, seated on a folding
chair, clutching a rolled-up circular. "I'm missing Thanksgiving, and my husband thinks I'm crazy," said Jefferson, who works at a mortgage
insurance company. "But I do this every year . because I enjoy meeting people and the people that come when I do. I mean, you see the same people
year after year. And I do get some very good deals."
If you re-watch the videos after reading this article, you can see people having fun - like it's a thrill and a bonding experience.
Somewhere along the way, we have lost our sense of connectivity. People have forgotten how to have shared experiences. To wait and then charge through
a store greedily grabbing everything, like a child saying "mine, doesn't seem healthy. It does seem like they are obeying corporate masters who tell
them what, when, how to buy. I find it sad that our culture has come to this. I think we need help to redirect our values away from greed, and more to
compassion and generosity.