December 2, 2013

"I don't even know what 'Cyber Monday' is."

I say, aimlessly deleting about 100 emails that piled up overnight. "Is it the day when you're supposed to shop on line, like Black Friday, but for on-line shopping?" It's such a dumb and boring concept to me that I have to say that out loud in order to remember that I know what Cyber Monday is. Seems to me we're constantly shopping on line, especially when real-world shops are closed, like late at night, early in the morning, and on Sundays. So why Monday? Are we assuming people need to get to some work computer to use Amazon or whatever?

It seems perfectly silly to me, except to the extent that I'd like to remind you — if you like this blog — to do your on-line shopping through The Althouse Amazon Portal (which lets you channel a contribution to this blog without paying any extra for your items). (That link is always up there in the blog banner, and the gesture of appreciation for this blog is definitely noticed.)

IN THE COMMENTS: Kevin said:
Cyber Monday was about using work computers with high speed internet to shop. The idea was you did physical shopping over the weekend, including just noting what you wanted to buy online, and then on Monday you bought it. The concept really doesn't mean anything anymore since dialup went the way of the dodo. Now it's just another excuse for a sale.
So Cyber Monday Christmas-wraps 2 moral failings: 1. Not devoting all your work hours to doing the work you're paid to do, and 2. Treating brick-and-mortar stores as mere showrooms for products you're going to buy elsewhere.

16 comments:

MadisonMan said...

In the past, people had faster connections at work. That's the genesis of cyber Monday, I think.

Total anachronism now.

Kevin said...

Cyber Monday was about using work computers with high speed internet to shop. The idea was you did physical shopping over the weekend, including just noting what you wanted to buy online, and then on Monday you bought it. The concept really doesn't mean anything anymore since dialup went the way of the dodo. Now it's just another excuse for a sale.

Moose said...

So it's not the notion of online shopping (or the quantity), its the timing?
As in they want you to buy on their schedule rather than on your schedule?

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought Cyber Monday was supposed to be slacking off at work. Get paid while you shop.

I guess that's the cynical take.

sagoldie said...

Ann wrote, "Treating brick-and-mortar stores as mere showrooms for products you're going to buy elsewhere."

Yes, and for which some bloggers provide handy links to sites like Amazon . . . .

Jus' sayin'

Matthew Sablan said...

Nothing bugs me more than going to a store with friends, have them scan a barcode and say "Eh, I can get it cheaper online."

It just feels... I don't know, rude.

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, OK, lots of things bug me more than that. That was just a lead in. Racism? That bugs me more. It's just a saying, don't take it literally.

Strelnikov said...

I'd never heard that term until last week.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Cyber-Monday originally also had something to do with shipping deadlines. You could buy online and be sure you got it by Christmas, back in the up to 3 weeks for deliver days. Also, it was about avoiding sales tax. Neither of which is a moral failing.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, agreed about the "showrooming" business, which I agree is a moral failing. (Though why anyone in his/her senses would choose the weekend after Thanksgiving, of all times, to go browse physical stock I have no idea. Someone with a death wish?)

But as to using an employer's fast connection to purchase stuff, you're assuming that the employee is doing this on the clock. I certainly had jobs in which I arrived long before I could clock in (I've had some pretty elaborate public-transit commutes, in which I was going to be either late or very early, and went for "very early"). Using the employer's existing connection when you are at the computer but not on the clock is venial sin territory, IMO. Though in retrospect, it seems to me that I ought to have asked first.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not saying these are terrible sins, just saying that promoting the concept of "Cyber Monday" is highlighting some behavior that isn't especially admirable.

Oclarki said...

Since I entered the workforce post internet, what did people with office jobs do all day before they could surf the web as they worked? Smoke breaks?

Don't try to tell me people were so much more conscientious about their employers time back int he day.

Peter said...

If "showrooming" is a (minor) sin, is reading book reviews (or even browsing the pages within it, when that's permitted) on Amazon- and then borrowing the book from a public library (instead of buying from Amazon) also a sin?

(For what it's worth, I'm just not willing to feel guilty about showrooming- but a line is crossed if someone in the store actually helps me with something. Then I will feel obligated to buy from the store if I'm going to buy at all.)

Michael said...

If there's one thing I can't begrudge people, it's quickly taking care of business online at work after the weekend got eaten up by work stuff that invaded your personal life.

Michael said...

"Since I entered the workforce post internet, what did people with office jobs do all day before they could surf the web as they worked? Smoke breaks?"

Yes, and they drank at lunch, smoked pot, and balled their secretaries.

Now quit looking at Amazon and get back to work, drone.

Beldar said...

Since September I've had a new dog, a year-old Siberian Husky rescued after weeks of running wild. His name is "Cyber."

Every Monday is Cyber Monday at my house.