iPhone Premiere: Is It Real Life Or Is It Mad TV? genre: Econ-Recon & Indie-Script & Nouveau Thoughts

I'll admit that I like new technology...but I had to laugh at the iPhone hysteria over the weekend. As much as I like innovation, you would never find me standing in line at the launching of a new product. I think the following video clips offer some insight into the phenomenon.

The first is a skit from Mad TV in which Steve Jobs is unveiling the new iPhone to the Mad TV studio audience. Note the hysteria of the audience and the mob mentality...people feeding off of each others frenzy. If you've ever seen an episode of Oprah and watched when she announces that the studio audience is going to receive a gift, you'll no doubt see the similarities.

The second is a clip outside of an Apple store in New York City just as the doors are being opened to begin selling the new gadget. As you watch this clip, note the actions of the shoppers as they enter the store and head up the stairs. Many of them are taking pictures, shooting video, and seemingly taking their victory lap in front of adoring fans. Would it be safe to call these events modern rituals?

The last clip is a commercial spoof that Conan O'Brien did on his show a few months back. The thing that fascinates me about all of these clips is the degree to which the comic skits capture what I would call the absurdity of such situations. It's a priceless glimpse into human psychology and our culture's preoccupation with celebrity and notoriety. I'm not exactly sure that being one of the first customers to buy an iPhone should be the equivalent of a hero's parade...but it certainly looks like one.

I wonder to what degree the attention and the simulated hero's welcome plays in the motivation to stand in line and purchase an iPhone or any other product that draws this kind of coverage. Are these people simply tech geeks or does buying the product and being able to tell others that they were there and that they bought one serve to bolster some psychological need? Does the purchase of a $600.00 iPhone provide the same therapeutic boost one might get from a couple visits to the psychologist?

Feel free to share you own observations as I would love to know how you view these kind of situations and what you think they say about our society and our culture. My goal isn't to make fun of anyone that bought an iPhone this weekend but to understand the psychology that is at work. Maybe there's nothing to it at all...but it sure triggers my curiosity with human nature.

Mad TV Skit - Steve Jobs Introduces The iPhone

Outside An Apple Store In NYC

Conan O'Brien iPhone Commercial

Daniel DiRito | July 2, 2007 | 9:56 AM
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