Is standing in line for hours worth it?
The lines for iPhones were back this year,
despite Apple’s attempts to eliminate them with their pre-order system. People once more gathered in front of the shiny glass buildings in the hope to snag the few phones that were not already claimed.
This does lead to a question: Why do people feel a need to wait in line to be first for something?
Is it so we can have a moment of feeling special?
Does this go back to our explorer days, becoming the first to discover something?
Is it to give us a moment where we feel we are better than everyone else?
Could the need to have the newest, shiniest toy be a way to alleviate boredom?
Because it’s only a matter of time before you will not so enamored of your new gadget.
Think about it. Are you sick of your current phone? At one point your current phone excited you. You may have waited in line to get it. But the phone you bought last year, or even two or three years later, still has all the bells and whistles it had when you bought it. And yet, the new calls to you.
Is it just the excitement of something new?
Even though the last phone, and the one before that, didn’t drastically change your life? Or does it go deeper?
Maybe the arrival of the new iPhone reminds us that we are never satisfied.
We are always searching for something to give our lives meaning, to make our days more than getting up each morning to go to a job that doesn’t move us in any meaningful way.
If you’re over 30, can you even remember a time when we didn’t have these devices in our hands? What were the things we couldn’t wait to have? My father waited in line for over 3 hours in the early 70’s to buy Pong for his family of 6 kids. We sat in front of the TV for hours, mesmerized by a single white square that moved back and forth on the screen.
And it’s always been this way.
It’s the same feeling that drives us to stand in line and see a movie before anyone else. It’s the same feeling that may have led you to be the first to be disappointed by Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge.
Somehow, when you get older, you gain a little perspective.
You realize that waiting a couple of weeks for the crowds to die down to see the new, hot film, doesn’t change the experience of seeing it. You become more measured in defining your reasons for upgrading technology. It’s why Grandpa and Grandma are not standing in line with you. They’ve learned what’s important to them, and standing in line for the latest is not it.
I’m not saying it’s bad to be first.
It seems to be a very human thing to want something new. But I’m saying you’re not fooling anybody by waiting in line.
Tomorrow you will once more be just one of us.
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