Hello, hola, bonjour, guten tag, nǐ hǎo, shalom, konnichiwa, and yassas, dear readers! Welcome back to Friday Factday, the weekly series where I, Ben, your erudite and entertaining educator, bring you scrumptious scoops on topics close to our hearts.
This week, the topic was quite easy to choose - as today is also Black Friday, that infamous day of shopping and violence, it was a no-brainer to do some digging on the day itself!
So, without further adieu...
The First Black Friday Was a Conspiracy
The first recorded use of the term "Black Friday" had nothing to do with shopping but it still had very much to do with money; on September 24th, 1869, the first Black Friday referred to a stock market crash.
Why did it crash, you ask? Well, there were a couple of somewhat shady fellas called James Fisk and Jay Gould. They decided they were going to corner the gold market - perhaps Jay felt his name entitled him to it - by buying up all they could to increase scarcity. Then, they would just need to sell it all off for insane profits.
Unfortunately for them, people cottoned on to their conspiracy, and the US Government stepped in, flooding the market with gold to dilute its price. Many investors and speculators lost their fortunes, which is obviously a terrible, terrible thing that we wholeheartedly grieve for. Those poor, poor parasites.
Grey Thursday Joins the Club
Many people have heard of Black Friday, thanks in no small part to how much American life and culture is shoved down our throats. It's becoming a tradition in multiple countries and it shows no sign of slowing.
What a lot of people don't know is that Black Friday doesn't stand alone. A few have heard of Cyber Monday, the buddy that helps block out the weekend as a retail bonanza, but it doesn't stop there - enter "Grey Thursday."
Grey Thursday came about thanks to - shock, horror! - the greed of companies like Walmart, who saw an opportunity to open their doors late on Thursday for shoppers to get those salivating deals a few hours early. The fact that this encourages people to depart their Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends early thanks to the siren song of capitalism is irrelevant - these mega companies need a bigger bottom line, okay!?
It's Prime Time for Scammers
Black Friday (and Grey Thursday and Cyber Monday and Tangerine Tuesday... okay, I made that last one up) is one of the single biggest messaging periods of the year - users are bombarded with ads and outreach that attempt to entice them with cut-price deals. What's more, due to FOMO, users' bullshit detectors are often not running at full tilt.
This gives scammers a prime opportunity to get maximum returns for minimal investment, phishing with cleverly disguised emails and other messaging. While it is easy to lose yourself to the urgency of this shopping period, we strongly advise people to exercise sense and caution when checking out the latest deals.
Alternatively, you could get yourself Windscribe or Control D to proactively protect yourself from these attacks, ensuring peace of mind while browsing for bargains.
Spend, Spend, Spend
According to research, a whopping 80% of Americans plan to participate in this Black Friday weekend - which makes digital shopping that much more appealing.
That same research indicates that the average intended spend over the weekend is $567 per person, continuing an upward trend. That means that the average shopper would only need to dedicate a mere 5% of their Black Friday budget to net themselves a fantastic Windscribe deal!
Windscribe Does Fuchsia Friday
Here at Windscribe, we don't do Black Friday; we're far too cool for that.
But we're never too cool to offer a sweet deal, so instead we do Fuchsia Friday! It's bigger, bolder, brighter, and all-round better if you ask us, and this year we're going all out, with:
If you'd like more details, check out our Fuchsia Friday post!