Happy Black Friday

Happy Black Friday

Just thinking about shopping changes our brain chemistry. True, the very idea of getting a new item releases endorphins and dopamine. Although a little shopping may save a bad day, in the long run, buying new stuff to boost our mood can turn into a dangerous habit.

Impulsive shopping brings temporary happiness. However, anxiety, guilt and depression are around the corner. When we buy to avoid or relieve emotional distress we engage in compensatory buying, which can lead us to more distress and feelings of regret.

On top of that, it has been proven that owning too much stuff is bad for our mental health. A life of excessive consumption drains our energy. People who are afraid to toss out items or collect things for no meaningful reason are either dragged into the past or pulled into the future. A constant anxiety that keeps them from enjoying the present.

At one point, everyone can engage in impulsive shopping. It is almost contagious. During the busy consumption peaks of the year we are more vulnerable to fall into the trap. ‘Monkey see, monkey do’. That is why it is precisely at these times when we should stop and think. A good opportunity to do so is on one of the biggest, if not the most, shopping days of the year.

Feared by many salespeople, Black Friday was the name given in 1966 by the Philadelphia Police Department to the frenetic shopping day after Thanksgiving; due to the traffic accidents and violence caused by the massive shopping.

More recently, retailers decided to extend the discount days and seize the opportunity. This, at the same time, extends our shopping anxiety throughout the week. On these difficult days, it is to be reminded that missing a discount on an unneeded item is not such a missed opportunity.

Happy Black Friday is an intervention of gift cards placed in fast fashion stores intended to warn about the downside of bargain sales. They act as a bait for bargain hunters, who do not expect the reverse side of the card to be fully covered in charcoal. Once they touch it, it stains their hands while revealing a hidden message:

TOO MUCH
TOO CHEAP
is damaging your mental health

The dirty hands will expose the willingness to take part on Black Friday madness. Public shame on those who compromise their peace of mind for the shopping high. An uncomfortable spotlight meant to make people reflect on the long-term consequences of impulsive shopping. Ideally preventing them from making unnecessary spending.