I’ve noticed a growing trend that I want to address today, because it’s about as annoying as that friend you’ve got on Facebook who posts “I’m leaving Facebook!” for the seventh time. Does this have anything to do with couponing? Well, no, not exactly, but it is something that impacts me from time to time as a coupon blogger.
So what is this trend I’m referring to? It’s the person who cries “I’m never shopping there/buying from them again!” every time a company screws up….
A company CEO makes a couple admittedly stupid statements during an interview…. BOYCOTT.
A company’s social media manager accidentally tweets from the company’s account something about a relative of the President…. BOYCOTT.
A company tried to do a giveaway on Facebook, but it failed…. BOYCOTT.
One person at the company did something stupid when they were in high school…. BOYCOTT.
Etc. etc. etc.
Why are you even bringing this up, Angela? Well, here’s the thing. There have been times I’ve posted a deal I found at a store, or a freebie a company was offering. And then a reader will leave a comment about why they’ll never shop there. Alright, OK, just know not everyone shares your belief and be careful to not make others feel badly for not joining you in your mission to boycott the company. You may choose to boycott Papa John’s because you think they don’t care about their employees, but another reader might want to buy a pizza now even more to keep those employees in business in the first place.
Your upset may be justified, but your comment and irritation, misplaced. For instance, I’ve seen readers direct their boycott to bloggers before, because they had the audacity to even share a deal the company is offering. This is often an unfortunate turn of events! Remember that it can be very difficult as a blogger to stay on top of the news hitting every company out there (although many of us do make our best effort to do this!). Even if the blogger is aware of the news, he/she might have wanted to share the offer anyways for those interested.
Here’s what I think. This world is messy. No company is without faults and there are ethical dilemmas everywhere you look. And there are often two sides for every story. You might have recently heard how the demand for quinoa has caused the price to surge, making it no longer affordable for the people in the countries who grow it. BOYCOTT, right? Well, hold the phone. The demand for quinoa also means new opportunities for farmers in South American countries. Don’t even get me started about how social media and crowd mentalities can compound on all this, either. What we have in this country is an epidemic of Too Easily Offended-ness. Can we take a moment to pause before we react? Or has that era ended?
Even so, are there times to boycott companies? Yes, I do believe there are – make no mistake about it! It’s just like the boy who cried wolf – play that card too many times and no one gives a rip. I can think of one company in particular I researched and felt I no longer wanted to shop at or post about here. I’ve never written a post about it (nor will I do so), and I am careful to respect the choice of others who wish to shop there. It’s their prerogative to do without feeling less than for making a different choice than me. However, if a company has an isolated lapse of judgment or fails in some way, I’m often more inclined to wait and see how they will handle themselves afterwards. Instead of boycotting, I think it might be more helpful to speak your mind and then see how the company chooses to respond. Many times, they do.
Do you think I’m off my rocker on this one, or have you noticed more people railing against companies these days? Can you think of specific examples where boycotts seemed like a good idea, or overreacting? Sound off.