If you picked any date – say, April 13, 2011 – and counted up the number of shopping-related nonsenses that people get up to in stores, I’m convinced it wouldn’t be much different, per capita, than any “Black Friday.” Has anyone ever done statistical analysis on holiday shopping in comparison to regular-any-old-day shopping? Certainly there are more incidents of people acting crazy, but there are lots more people out shopping, too.
Everyone I interacted with yesterday out shopping was nice, friendly and speedy, with a “we’re all in this together” mentality, and that includes both shoppers and retail staff. Sure, that’s anecdotal, but I like to believe in the better angels of our nature. There is always going to be some nuttiness related to interacting in public with strangers – lots of people have stress and social anxiety. But acting like it’s doomsday because people want to do something nice for the people they care about is hyperbolic, I think. We can be consumers and also celebrate the best in humanity at the same time.