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Cyber Shmyber

As if the media didn’t have enough to digest from Thanksgiving shopping mania, today they’re all over “Cyber Monday” like gravy on mashed potatoes.

With apologies to the National Retail Federation, the trade group that created the online shopping “holiday” as a way to promote e-tail sales, I must have missed the federal proclamation. And I still can’t find it on any calendars.

While I can’t say I blame Internet merchants for jumping on the bandwagon, I do take my fellow journalists to task for treating this fiction as a full-fledged cultural event akin to Black Friday. As Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Fassler observed, “Black Friday jaunts are becoming like Woodstock and tailgate parties — experiences to brag about.” But surfing Web stores from your desk during office hours? Aside from the questionable ethics of shopping on your boss’s time, all it does is tie up corporate bandwidth on a national scale, sending IT departments into a tizzy.

Nope, no desktop shopping for me. Just give me a sleeping bag, a flask, and a slab of frozen sidewalk beside the strip mall on a post-Thanksgiving night. What better way to make new friends, snare a few bargains and get away from the in-laws.