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The Silliness of #CyberMonday and Insanity of #BlackFriday

Call me a media traditionalist, but there is nothing I hate more than a lazy two-or-three-word catch phrase or the like to describe something bigger than what it conveys. It must have started with TV news catchphrases dumbing down some vastly important world event.

Cyber Monday is an easy target. Not only does it steal from the already pathetic Black Friday moniker, it’s just … stupid. 

What's in a Name

Who calls anything “Cyber this” or “Cyber that” in this world anymore?

“What did you do this weekend?” “Well, bro, I was surfing the World Wide Web in freaking Cyber Space, buying stuff on this Amazon.com web site … it was wild! I just clicked on a few things with my wireless mouse, entered my credit-card number and then, BAM!, my hamster wheels are supposed to show up in just two days!” “Rad…”

Connectivity is such an ingrained part of our lives that the term is archaic. It kind of reminds me of this movie, starring a younger, much more innocent (?) Angelina Jolie:

What makes the term Cyber Monday even more insane is that it was apparently first officially used, at the suggestion of marketers working for Shop.org, the National Retail Federation’s e-commerce affiliate, in … 2005!!! Weren’t we well over calling things Cyber-this and Cyber-that by then?

Now, I am by no means a marketing expert or someone who has his finger on the pulse of technological innovation. But by racking my brain just a tiny bit, I came up with some better, more relevant phrases for this day that won’t seem as outdated as an episode of Knight Rider in a few years.

Let’s try these:

  • Fast Monday
  • Wired Monday
  • Power Monday
  • Server-Crash Monday
  • And my personal favorite: My-Boss-Thinks-I’m-Actually-Working Monday

Shopping Insanity

Enough about the silliness of Cyber Monday’s name, though. Call it whatever you want, but it’s an infinitely more civilized way to shop than the bread-line-riot insanity that this “shopping holiday” has created.

We are all unfortunate enough to have seen videos on the news like this: Crazy Wal-Mart Black Friday fight for TV. And this: Women Get Into Black Friday Stun Gun Fight Inside the Mall.

It doesn’t even take into account the fact that many of the large chains are in business on Thanksgiving Day now, basically destroying their relationships with employees.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not an online versus brick-and-mortar-shopping debate. Both have their appeal for a particular consumer, and I personally shop in physical stores more than I do on the Internet. Some items, such as furniture, will always be a tough sell online. And isn’t it ironic that Apple retail stores — run by one of the leaders in technological products that promote online connectivity — are consistently the highest selling in terms of sales per square foot amongst its peers?

But witnessing the above videos is enough proof that the whole thing has been out of hand for a while now, and something needs to change. Maybe an In-the-Black Week would solve things?

So avoid the crowds and chaos and politely shop online the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Let’s just PLEASE find a different name for that activity that isn’t so terribly corny.

About the Author

Ian Ritter is a freelance journalist specializing in retail and commercial real estate. He spent several years as an editor at GlobeSt.com, where he specialized in retail, and was an associate editor at the International Council of Shopping Centers publication “Shopping Centers Today,” for which he is currently a regular contributor.

 
 
 
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