It's time we came up with a new name for "Cyber Monday"
Every year on the Monday after Thanksgiving, millions of people open up their laptops to shop for Christmas gifts. Crowned “Cyber Monday,” the event has revolutionized our shopping habits. Ten years ago, before the Internet defined every aspect of our lives, you had to drag yourself out of bed, put on real clothes, and actually interact with real humans in order to stock your closet with Christmas gifts. Now, you can do it from the comfort of your own home while It’s a Wonderful Life plays in the background and the kids fight over which batch of sugar cookies to bake. Is this an improvement on our previous retail habits? In some ways, yes. In other ways, it’s just plain lazy.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. My concern has nothing to do with the changing nature of our relationship to technology. It’s far pettier than that: I don’t like the name “Cyber Monday,” for a number of reasons. First, the only people that still use the term “cyber” to describe things online are probably the same people who ask how to search things on “The Facebook” and refuse to invest in smartphones because they’re all products of Satan. By which I mean, it is an outdated term. “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005, when teenagers were still posting their emotional poetry to LiveJournal and starting drama with their MySpace“Top 5.” It was born during the early days of the Internet but its relevance as a term has started to fade, with one exception:
Second, it seems a bit silly to me to invent a holiday because of a trend. Cyber Monday was created by Shop.org marketing agents after they realized online sales increased the Monday after Thanksgiving. If we created holidays for every trend we noticed, every day would be a new holiday. The day after Christmas could be called National “Cover the Streets with Pine Trees” Day. February 15th could be renamed National “Sign Up for an Online Dating Site” Day. Just because Hallmark made up a holiday doesn’t mean we all can. That’s an abuse of power.
Judging from recent advertisements, though, Cyber Monday is not going away anytime soon. Websites are going to slash their prices and push discounts in our faces in order to get our money, no matter how many online rants we post. If the holiday is going to stick around, we might as well come up with a better, more relevant name for it. My suggestions:
1) “I Don’t Need Groceries This Week” Day
2) “Christmas Gifts for Me” Day
3) “Shoes Shoes Shoes” Day
4) “The Day the Internet Crashed”
5) “Brain Fever” Monday
6) Digital/Virtual/Wired Monday
7) The Only Monday That’s Not Completely Worth Hating (Because, I Mean, Discounted Laptops? Come On)
Some of them are a mouthful, I’ll admit. I’m open to other suggestions.
Still, I will take “Cyber Monday” over “Black Friday” 90% of the time if it means not getting trampled. A few pop-ups and Firefox crash reports, I can deal with. A broken arm and a mass of people, I cannot. I don’t mean to suggest that Cyber Monday is a completely useless holiday, for the same reason I just mentioned: it prevents us from dealing with a lot of crazy Black Friday shoppers by letting us buy items from the comfort of our own homes. I just think it needs a new name, a rebranding, if you will. This world is filled with creative people. Put your untapped marketing skills to work. What should we call Cyber Monday?
Featured image via QuickMeme.com.