"Cyber Monday" expert available for interviews

"Cyber Monday" expert available for interviews

Image: D Gudelunas If you are reporting on the phenomenon Cyber Monday, please consider as a resource David Gudelunas, Ph.D., associate professor of communication at Fairfield University and an expert on social media who has published work on the history of shopping from home.

"Cyber Monday sounds like a recent phenomenon, but we have always shopped in private spaces," said Dr. Gudelunas, who teaches courses in consumer culture, gender, sexuality, media, and pop culture in the College of Arts & Sciences. "The real 'newness' here is shopping from work and not from home, or more importantly, shopping while at work instead of at leisure. For those in a holiday rush, this feels like saving something (time) while spending something else (money)."

Consumers use the Internet in a variety of ways during the holiday season. "The Internet is increasingly surfed to compare prices, and to actually buy things that we know people want," Dr. Gudelunas said. "It is less useful for browsing, but many ideas that people got on Black Friday will be executed on Cyber Monday."

There are upsides and downsides to the phenomenon, he said.

"There is a wonderful irony about hating the crowds on Black Friday, but loving the interaction with people via reviews and customer feedback on Cyber Monday," he said. "In fact, despite the aloneness of shopping on Monday we are actually far more social than we are on Black Friday."

He advised consumers to always read the fine print, though. "There are a lot of specials and sales on Monday, but also a lot of potential problems in terms of returns, hidden fees and other quirks of online shopping."

Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving and has become the biggest online shopping day of the year. Cyber Monday 2011 falls on November 28.

If you would like to speak to Dr. Gudelunas directly, please contact Meredith Guinness.

Posted On: 11-16-2011 11:11 AM

Volume: 44 Number: 122