The Origin of Cyber Monday

According to Reuters, retail stores in the United States made an estimated $52.4 billion in sales on the Black Friday weekend alone; that’s up 16.4% from last year. So here’s how much I spent on Christmas shopping this weekend: $0.

I took the broke college student approach this year. I went Black Friday shopping with my family last year, and boy was that quite an experience. I waited on line longer for sweatpants at Hollister than I did waiting for the Nintendo Wii at a Target when it was released. For the pants, I waited about 90 minutes before I reached the register, but I guess it was worth it. But with no money this year to really spend, my family and I really just chilled at home.

And now today is Cyber Monday. I had a research paper due today, along with classes, yearbook, student government, writing this blog, and then a second research paper. And I kinda skipped MikeyTALK on Sunday due to my workload. What was I primarily speaking of again? Oh right: Cyber Monday.

I was never really an online shopper, but I hear some stores have quite some good deals. Next year, if I decide to shop immediately after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday sounds like the way to go.

One of my flaws is that I’m a materialistic person, but hey, it seems like everyone is nowadays. But days of chaos like Black Friday do trigger a spark in the extent of American consumerism and capitalism. Isn’t it a bit ironic how we spend Thanksgiving by giving thanks for what we have, only to buy tons and tons of crap the next day?

Hooray for American consumerism!

But back to Cyber Monday, how did this even come into being? Black Friday seems to have been around since, like, forever, but Cyber Monday kind of creeped up out of nowhere.

Well according to Wikipedia (hey, it’s a blog post, don’t judge!), a majority retailers noticed a significant increase of online sales the Monday after Black Friday. They then began a trend of offering discounts on this day. The sales and revenue became so substantial, that in 2005, the National Retail Federation (sounds important) released an article coining the term “Cyber Monday.” And thus Cyber Monday was born! And to think of it, it’s only been “officially” around for 6 years…

So when you click that “Add to Cart” icon on whatever site you visit, now you can reflect on the origin of this great day for the American consumer.

So my question to you is: Do you shop on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday? What retailers do you like to shop at? Find any good sales this year? Or if you didn’t shop (like me!), tell why you didn’t and you shall be another step closer to gaining hipster-status. (If your reading on the home page, click the title of this post at the top. Then, on the bottom of the page, you can easily login with a Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress account and leave me your two cents).

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