Unboxing: How opening stuff became such a "thing"

by Robo

A short bio about Robo

Amidst the many exhilarating sensory experiences that accompany the unboxing of a brand new, high tech gadget is the knowledge that what you’re enjoying is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Once your new television, smartphone, video game console, camera, video drone, etc. is fully unpackaged for the first time, that special moment is gone, never to return. So how did this banal practice emerge to be such a cultural phenomenon, with its own YouTube genre—watch cheapyD unbox his PS3—its own article on Wikipedia, and even its own snarky definition on Urban Dictionary?

 

According to Google Trends, people began searching for “unboxing” online in significant numbers in 2006. Some companies, such as British mobile phone retailer, Carphone Warehouse, took the emerging trend of unboxing quite seriously and incorporated it into their marketing and media efforts. This is evidenced in the phone retailer’s famous Sony Xperia Z3 underwater unboxing promo, in which the waterproof Sony device was ceremoniously unboxed underwater by a man in scuba gear.

 

Unboxing as a media tool has also been incorporated by individuals and organizations who specialize in reviewing products. Since product reviews may now be easily done via video, many reviewers choose to feature the unboxing of the product itself, to add to the sense of excitement, making their reviews more fun to watch.

 

When you unbox a brand new piece of sophisticated, beautiful technology, you’re not only witnessing up close a pinnacle of human achievement, but you’re also claiming it. Think about that! When you separate your brand new, top of the line iPhone from its packaging material, you’ve created a little evolutionary microcosm, where your modest unboxing efforts are suddenly a substitute for centuries of technological progress. What a power rush!

Unboxing: How opening stuff became such a "thing"

In addition to the sheer, endorphin-packed power-tripping involved with the unboxing of new tech, there’s also a more innocent pleasure at work. The sensory experience of unboxing takes many of us back to our childhoods, rekindling a bit of that same magic once present on Christmas morning: unwrapping presents after weeks of waiting, the paper and packaging strewn all over the floor, and our untouched, picture perfect prizes nested in the simple recesses of a box, waiting patiently for us. Even though we generally know what we’re getting into when we unbox a new technological toy, the mystique of it all still feels familiar. Perhaps we’ve already seen our device in TV commercials, or in the display section of the store, or maybe we’ve seen it in the possession of a friend. Be that as it may, until our own unboxing ritual is complete, we haven’t yet seen the most important version of our gadget - the version destined to be ours.
 

Unboxing: How opening stuff became such a "thing"

 

Unboxing: How opening stuff became such a "thing"

Unboxing: How opening stuff became such a "thing"

by Robo

A short bio about Robo

Amidst the many exhilarating sensory experiences that accompany the unboxing of a brand new, high tech gadget is the knowledge that what you’re enjoying is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Once your new television, smartphone, video game console, camera, video drone, etc. is fully unpackaged for the first time, that special moment is gone, never to return. So how did this banal practice emerge to be such a cultural phenomenon, with its own YouTube genre—watch cheapyD unbox his PS3—its own article on Wikipedia, and even its own snarky definition on Urban Dictionary?

 

According to Google Trends, people began searching for “unboxing” online in significant numbers in 2006. Some companies, such as British mobile phone retailer, Carphone Warehouse, took the emerging trend of unboxing quite seriously and incorporated it into their marketing and media efforts. This is evidenced in the phone retailer’s famous Sony Xperia Z3 underwater unboxing promo, in which the waterproof Sony device was ceremoniously unboxed underwater by a man in scuba gear.

 

Unboxing as a media tool has also been incorporated by individuals and organizations who specialize in reviewing products. Since product reviews may now be easily done via video, many reviewers choose to feature the unboxing of the product itself, to add to the sense of excitement, making their reviews more fun to watch.

 

When you unbox a brand new piece of sophisticated, beautiful technology, you’re not only witnessing up close a pinnacle of human achievement, but you’re also claiming it. Think about that! When you separate your brand new, top of the line iPhone from its packaging material, you’ve created a little evolutionary microcosm, where your modest unboxing efforts are suddenly a substitute for centuries of technological progress. What a power rush!

Unboxing: How opening stuff became such a "thing"

In addition to the sheer, endorphin-packed power-tripping involved with the unboxing of new tech, there’s also a more innocent pleasure at work. The sensory experience of unboxing takes many of us back to our childhoods, rekindling a bit of that same magic once present on Christmas morning: unwrapping presents after weeks of waiting, the paper and packaging strewn all over the floor, and our untouched, picture perfect prizes nested in the simple recesses of a box, waiting patiently for us. Even though we generally know what we’re getting into when we unbox a new technological toy, the mystique of it all still feels familiar. Perhaps we’ve already seen our device in TV commercials, or in the display section of the store, or maybe we’ve seen it in the possession of a friend. Be that as it may, until our own unboxing ritual is complete, we haven’t yet seen the most important version of our gadget - the version destined to be ours.
 

Unboxing: How opening stuff became such a "thing"