Today is Cyber Monday.
How do you feel about it? Are you going to surf the web and check out all of today’s on-line sales? Are you buying the idea that the traditional shopping day of Black Friday now extends to the online world’s Cyber Monday?
Typically I’m a late adaptor and not one to jump on the latest trends. Of course in the hyper evolving world of technology, not keeping up can be a dangerous practice. Technology changes right in front of our eyes (or flat screen monitors) and being a late adaptor could leave you with a Radio Shack Tandy 1000 – my first computer.
But something about Cyber Monday strikes me as overly contrived – not genuine, not authentic.
Cyber Monday was first invented by Shop.org during the 2005 holiday season. comScore has reported increasing online sales every year since then – but by decreasing percentages. So it apparently has been a retail marketing success, although CNN throws some cold water on the day by calling it mostly myth.
Are you going to shop on-line today? Or are you exhausted by all the Cyber Monday sales that are clogging your email in-box today?
The term Black Friday was first used back in 1966 by the Philadelphia Police to negatively describe the massive traffic jams and overly crowed sidewalks. Shoppers had begun naturally using the Friday after Thanksgiving (a day off for many) to start their Christmas shopping.
It wasn’t until 1975 that the term Black Friday started to get wider exposure in newspapers. Retailers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles were still unaware of the term as late as 1985 according to a Philadelphia Inquirer news story.
Nationwide, retailers were reluctant to embrace the term because of its negative connotation. But in the early 1980s, a new accounting theory emerged that allowed retailers who operated all year in the red to now see their year’s financial fortunes turn to black with one outstanding sale day.
Black Friday naturally evolved and became part of the American fabric over a period of 20 to 30 years. It was grass roots in its origin, and today has become a trademark of the holiday shopping season.
Cyber Monday was fabricated in 2005. That same year the New York Times reported, “millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”
I’m not waxing poetic for the way things used to be. I’ve personally never enjoyed standing in retail lines and fighting the crowds in the parking lot and malls, so theoretically I should be jumping for joy at the opportunity to find bargains in the convenience of my living room or office computer.
The problem is I feel as though I’m being sold. Cyber Monday feels contrived. Things that are contrived when we are seeking genuineness and authenticity in our world just don’t resonate. In today’s atmosphere we want to buy – we no longer want to be sold.
Am I missing the boat on Cyber Monday? The sales? The bargains? What do you think?
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Next Blog Date: December 2, 2010