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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Stop feeding the beast

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Frederica Shih — THE BATTALION

It’s that time of year again. The weather is a little chillier, the leaves have changed colors, our families are on their way down as they get ready to feast with us and mom already has the turkey basted for the oven. That’s right — it’s time for Black Friday sales.
Time for another day of saying how thankful we are as Americans just to have food and quality family time before we throw all that thanks out the window mere hours later to become crazed consumers.
With Black Friday now starting early on Thanksgiving Night at major stores such as Walmart, Target and even Victoria’s Secret, the consumerism has just gone too far.
Black Friday has been so vividly skewed it hardly resembles anything remotely beneficial anymore.
To put it in perspective, there have been seven deaths and 90 injuries associated with Black Friday shopping within the last eight years, according to blackfridaydeathcount.com, which — you guessed it — sells T-shirts for a discounted price with these statistics on them during Black Friday.
People have pepper-sprayed each other over an Xbox, trampled employees or other people to death and fallen asleep at the wheel from exhaustion, all in the name of being the first one to get the best deal on Black Friday.
It’s a fear-driven consumerism cycle that is unlike any before it. As companies fear their competition out-selling them and consumers fear being the last one to any good holiday gift deals, stores open earlier and earlier and cut more and more into Thanksgiving — a time when Americans across the country, across the spectrum of religious or personal beliefs, have gathered with their families just to enjoy each other’s company.
It doesn’t stop there. Employees are also forced to miss all of Thanksgiving as they prepare the store for the chaos that will likely ensue at their stores hours before the crowds even come. So now Black Friday shoppers aren’t only cutting into their own Thanksgiving time, they are cutting into the time and lives of millions of others.
This week used to be just about family. Spending time with them, playing football in the yard after a big Thanksgiving dinner, or digging out “It’s a Wonderful Life” to watch for the millionth time as everyone gets ready for the winter holidays.
Stop and think about your favorite memory as a kid from this time of year. Was it that doll you got after your mom went Black Friday shopping that you can’t even recall the name of now, or was it hanging out with your parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and family friends?
The only way to end the madness is to stop feeding the beast. End this cycle of earlier, earlier, more, more. All throughout the holiday season stores offer deals, discounts, freebies and giveaways. All the rush the stores have instilled in us for Black Friday is a fear mechanism for a fear that isn’t even real — a fear of missing out on a “once in a lifetime price.”
It’s time Americans forget Black Friday and spend Thanksgiving Night where they actually want to — eating dinner with loved ones and sleeping off the turkey in a nice warm bed.
Lindsey Gawlik is a telecommunication media studies junior and news editor for The Battalion.

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