For regular users of the intertubes, Black Friday hysteria seems kind of pointless, as it’s inevitable that at some point between now and Christmas, someone is going to have a better deal and ship it to your house- no pepper spray or time in central booking required.
So while everyone else was duking it out over a $47 HDTV, you might have or have had a bit more time at your parents’ house or time without your parents while they’re out shopping. Which is while Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic‘s proposal for an alternate Black Friday activity should totally catch on. Madrigal suggests making today Update Your Parents’ Browser day, to ensure your mom, dad or both aren’t using Netscape Navigator circa 1999. Madrigal explains:
This year, though, do something different. Don’t just explain to Grandpa or Mom or your father-in-law that there is a whole world of secure web browsing out there. No, take a firm stand. Tell them they won’t be able to watch funny fishing videos on YouTube with IE6 anymore… While you’re at it, you will probably fix (or set up) the wifi, which you can helpfully explain is like Internet particles floating in the air.
Don’t switch brands on them. No putting Chrome instead of Firefox or Internet Explorer. Keep it simple. Make sure to be on hand the first time they open up the browser to accept responsibility for the change on behalf of “The Cloud,” which you will testify has started changing people’s software without asking. When they ask you what The Cloud is, shake your head, and stare off into the distance. Then point to the nearest telephone (which will probably be rotary dial) and whisper, “Can’t talk about it.”
Off course, it’s a bit late in the day to do it exactly on Black Friday, but there’s always Christmahanukwanzikah to institute the change. If you’ve got the chance, however, remember that someone, somewhere or Rachel Ray will probably tell them Cyber Monday is coming up.