Nearly 70 percent of Millennials--or those between the ages of 20-36--said they want to do away with Black Friday altogether, according to research from the social media company The Tylt. The site polled more than 4,300 Millennials, tracking their use of hashtags on platforms including Twitter and Facebook. In 2017, more than 68 percent of respondents found that Black Friday was ruining the holidays, arguing that it keeps families from spending quality time together, the research found.
"It's obvious people can't control themselves, so ban the dang thing," said one Twitter user, referring in particular to injuries and even deaths sustained at America's shopping malls over the course of the weekend spree.
To their point, Black Friday has earned a reputation for being something of a dangerous holiday. This year, brawls closed down a shopping center in Hoover, Alabama, where one person was reportedly treated for serious injuries. Meanwhile, another person was shot outside of a Columbia, Missouri, shopping mall on Friday. The number of casualties that the marketing phenom has spawned can even be tracked on a website (BlackFridayDeathCount.com).
The broader argument that some Millennials have made against Black Friday is that it promotes consumerism, rather than qualities that really matter in life: Love, empathy, spirituality and compassion. (Keep in mind, this is a generation that values hugs in the workplace.) "Black Friday is an abomination made even more disgusting by taking place immediately after giving thanks!" wrote one Twitter user on Saturday. "It's an Americanism we don't need," said another.
For others, the desire to avoid Black Friday is more about avoiding the crush of humanity -- a view that seems frequently espoused in New York City, where Inc. is based. To that end, I asked Brittany Morse, a 22-year-old editorial intern, about why she avoids Black Friday. "It's a madhouse," she says. "And honestly the majority of stores don't have enticing enough deals to make me want to face the crowds." Throw in the fact that Millennials have been dubbed the "anxious" generation, and it's no surprise that tightly packed stores aren't alluring to 20-somethings.
On the other hand, super-connected Millennials tend to be more accepting of Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving where e-commerce retailers offer special deals and traditionally expect to see massive sales. This year, Cyber Monday spending will eclipse $6 billion, a 17 percent increase from 2016, according to Adobe Systems estimates. Of those who are willing to participate in the discounts offered on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the majority of Millennials (71 percent) say that Cyber Monday is better, according to The Tylt research.
To be sure, there was certainly encouragement to partake in Black Friday from the scores of Millennial "influencers" on social media -- i.e., the fashion bloggers, beauty vloggers and other brand ambassadors who often get paid to promote a brand's label. Danielle Bernstein, an Instagram star who is also a fashion designer, recently explained in a post why she values Black Friday. "If any of you understand retail and production then you know costs are extremely high when you're a new brand with lower quantities than lets say, a Zara," said Bernstein, who reportedly makes about $7,000 per sponsored post. "The only reason I've been able to create my dream brands is because of you guys so shop away because this sale def won't be happening again soon."