The effects of media

Growing up, our local television was over the air from three locations – Wingham, Kitchener, and London. On a very cloudy night, every now and again, we could pick up some signals from Detroit. I remember watching the Midnight Special one those special nights.

At university, we did manage to afford cable television and it carried US stations from Buffalo. The big win was to be able to watch NFL games on Sunday afternoons.

It was when we moved to Essex County and became a teacher that I became more aware of the impact of media and living next to the US border, particulary at American Thanksgiving time. There would be a higher student absentee rate. There was also a fight to book the television on wheels from our department.

The reason? A couple of big things happened across the border and they’re happening again today.

Both events were and remain televised and people wanted to watch – either in person in terms of absences or on television. Of course, I’d always known about the Macy’s parade and the Dallas Cowboys football games and could imagine the impact in New York and Dallas. Here we were just across the border and we likewise felt the influence.

It’s just not these events and, now, it’s not just around here.

Across the border, Friday is the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas buying season. It’s even got a name “Black Friday” and has an interesting history. What store doesn’t ratchet up its presence and lower prices to get people in their store and buying stuff. Christmas is coming.

With media, there doesn’t seem to be any border in place and now so many Canadian stores are having their own Black Friday sales. Wait … aren’t you supposed to be working or in school? With the availability of online shopping, you don’t even have to call in sick and cough to your boss.

It might be nice to stop there but why spoil a good thing. Let’s spill over to the following Monday and call it Cyber Monday and get people to upgrade their pieces of technology.

If you have a radio or television or computer that’s not using an ad blocker, you’ve seen stores fighting for your attention and ultimately your money over the past couple of weeks. I always like to look through The Source or Best Buy and just dream.

If those prices can be offered during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, why can’t they be offered all the time? Of course, the next big event will be Boxing Day sales where the rest of your money is at risk.

If you partake, now is the time, I guess. It’s exactly one month to Christmas as of today. Or, even a time to treat yourself.

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