The Stampede

Consumerism: What’s the Real Cost?

Jordan Magee and Bianca Reyes, RHS World News/ Politics Reporter

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   Holiday season is the time where many stores and brands encourage the public to snag last minute deals in order to prepare for Christmas and the New Year. Black Friday became a national event in the United States in 1961 and since then has become an important holiday on its own. Every year, billions of dollars are spent shopping on Black Friday with 2018’s total spending amounting to seven hundred and seventeen billion, five hundred million U.S. dollars. That’s thirty five billion and five hundred million more dollars spent compared to 2017.

   To some, this may seem like an outrageous amount and a major shift in economic spending. To others, it’s unsurprising as it’s expect of this time of year. The RHS Stampede has decided to get students’ opinions on the matter of consumerism and how it affects end of the year shopping.

   A unifying perspective on the subject is that holiday shopping has become excessive to the point where people focus on the materialism rather than appreciating those around them. Junior, Jessica Wheeler, stated, “We lose the meaning of the holiday because it’s all consumed in just giving gifts.” As mentioned earlier, the holiday spending increased by a tremendous amount, it’s no surprise that people have noticed the rising desire for material wealth.

   A senior named Trevor Pruess believes the tradition of Black Friday is a good idea to provide for less fortunate families, but claims that the day has become too chaotic. He did not participate on Black Friday because he doesn’t want to contribute to a day in which shoppers go “insane and [are] dying to try and get good sales.” Others across the country share the same sentiment as they prefer to spend time with family or stay home after Thanksgiving. It is quite unsettling that humans go insane over low prices to the point of killing others. That part of the tradition, of course, needs to be fixed.

   One student by the name of Logan Cherry, a sophomore, explained why she does not participate on Black Friday, “It’s way too early to get up in the morning.” This excuse is justified: to get the last minute sales before they run out, people have to wake up at the crack of dawn to arrive early enough. It’s also too hectic that morning for some which is why they don’t participate.


   Overall, the American tradition of Black Friday and the worldwide end of the year shopping splurges has their pros and cons. Though it’s a great money saver, it can get violent and frenzied. It’s to each their own for this tradition; but when it comes down to it, love for family and friends should always trump consumerism. Causing us to ask ourselves what is the true meaning of family and love?

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Consumerism: What’s the Real Cost?