I’ve avoided writing about Black Friday because I don’t want to add fuel to the consumerist bonfire that happens on this day, but I’ve just heard about something that’s possibly more disturbing.
China is currently celebrating Singles Day.
It is held on 11 November each year and is a chance for single people to treat themselves to gifts, and frankly the Chinese make Black Friday shoppers look like amateurs.
In the eight minutes before midnight before the 24-hour sale began, shoppers had already spend $1 billion e-commerce website Alibaba, a new record. And in fact it only took 12 hours to reach $9.3 billion of sales, which was the full day record for 2014.
It will be interesting to see how Black Friday compares and whether we will see increased purchases in the US and UK this year.
While some may see the increased number of people spending more as a sign of a healthy economy, I can’t help but feel it’s a sign of people succumbing to the marketing machine, filling their lives with things they don’t need instead of considering what’s really important to them, and possibly getting themselves into debt.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen into the spending trap many times and sometimes still do, which is why it’s so frustrating for me to see it on such a widespread scale. People believing their lives will be better because of what they own instead of who they are, people trying to eke out happiness by burning a hole in their credit card, and buying into the myth that they can make themselves a better person through consuming.
How many of those purchases made in haste on Singles Day or Black Friday will be regretted when the credit card comes through? How many items of clothing will go unworn? And how many purchases must we make until we are finally happy?
PS Apologies for the double posting today but I read somethings that riled me up!