How Much Is A Great Deal Really Worth?

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I am sure you’ll have your own opinion on this. In all honesty, I never thought much about it until I began writing this column on Black Friday 2021, the day following Thanksgiving Thursday. I don’t know about you, but I have been receiving notes almost every hour on-line similar to this: “Your Black Friday Sale is Counting Down, Sheryl!”

I didn’t make that up. The advertisement for a money management firm included my name in the headline. Apparently, they have a computer program that adds names in, the purpose of which is to make us feel compelled to thoroughly read the offer and respond positively since it is personalized. Instead, I clicked on the form at the bottom, ‘Unsubscribe Me.’

I’ve been working on my computer since 8:00 a.m. this morning until 7:00 p.m. Becoming more and more irritated by the “Black Friday Sale, 30% Off Everything: Enjoy our sweetest deals of the year!”

I imagined my Granny Fanny wagging her finger at me, saying, “Sheryl, stop cutting off your nose to spite your face!” Meaning, “Sheryl, are you crazy? Forget working on that computer and go shopping!”

I love to save money but there’s something about being encouraged to hurry up and spend that hit me the wrong way. Number one, I haven’t made my lists yet of what to get for whom. Number two, I am vaccinated but haven’t been going shopping due to old and new Covid variants and mutations.

But this year, the advertisements started coming way ahead of time. The company I used to buy my lotions, creams and masks from send out multiple offers throughout the day: “Final hours to get your Black Friday savings. 50% off deals. Shop now!” Unfortunately, the daily ads are changing slightly, Today, these items are all Buy One, Get One! and keep on coming daily. The goal obviously was to get me to shop until I dropped or ran out of money. Apparently, I just wasn’t ready to take the plunge into shopping online or in person.

Then it happened. I received the text message to beat out all advertisements and emails of all kinds: “We saw you looking. Now’s the time to add to your basket.” Wow, I can’t even browse without the Internet knowing what I’m doing, considering, where and when.

I bought a new brassiere at 2:00 p.m. in a Norwalk, Connecticut mall and at 4:00 p.m. received an advertisement, not from the store, but from the brassiere manufacturer. That was quite a surprise and wake-up call. I learned another lesson. Clicking on online advertisements can mean constant daily offers. Lesson learned: Not wise to click on online advertising.

I remember when I was the first one on my block to have a computer. I was so thrilled with it. Writing online was so much easier than on paper with pen. My neighbors all came by to check it out.

However, now my concern is that the Internet knows more about me than I do. As with each generation, there’s growth, change, and something new to get used to. I love sales and opportunities to buy things at the lowest prices. I’m just wondering how much more privacy our children and grandchildren will be asked to give up as the Internet monitors and notes everything we do and look at online.


  • Sheryl Kayne

    Sheryl Kayne is a writer, editor, educator, and motivational speaker. She is the author of travel guidebooks. Immersion Travel USA: The Best & Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living & Learning Excursions was awarded The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Best Travel Guidebook 2009 and Volunteer Vacations Across America was named on Amazon’s list of best new travel books 2010. Kayne travels extensively and works and volunteers where she visits. She was the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Homestead, Fla. and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, N.M. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, CBN, ABC Weekend Evening News, Lifetime Television Network, and MTV, among others. Visit Sheryl at:

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