For some more than others, the Apple unboxing experience -- a moment Apple puts a lot of thought into, as we discussed yesterday -- creates a special bond that lasts beyond the unwrapping experience. Apple hopes its product owners form a positive emotional bond with its gadgets from that very first experience. But, like all things Apple, some fans gets more attached than others. Meet the Apple box fetishists.
Who are they?
Dictionary.com defines fetish as such: "any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion." Apple box fetishists, then are people who have stronger than usual emotional attachments to what other people throw out with the trash. These people don't just get warm insides when they think about the moment they took the electronic out of its cardboard womb, like the box enthusiasts we found yesterday, who compared the experience to a treasure hunt. Sure, that can happen. But these people hold on to more than memories of their boxes. They yearn for the container itself.
So, what exactly does that entail?
An obsession with boxes that continues past the moment the gadget leaves the receptacle. That includes taking time to make a YouTube tour of your box collections. Here's a personal favorite. This stop motion film also shows a level of dedication that goes beyond the average tour. Making a chest of drawers out of old MacBook boxes might fall into this category, too.
But, even lower level reverence qualifies. Some of our commenters yesterday admitted they have their boxes displayed loud and proud like pieces of art. "The box for my 10GB iPod sits on a shelf on my entertainment center. It is the one with a great photo of Jimi Hendrix on one of its four sides. I may eventually sell my original iPhone, but intend to keep the box it came in," wrote commenter Sophos. That counts. Or, really, having a box collection at all demonstrates a sufficient level of obsession.
I think I might be one of these people. How can I feed the fetish?
Those looking to beef up their collection can head to eBay, where a burgeoning empty box market exists, as another one of our commenters pointed out to us. Though some might suggest this is a scammers market, the boxes don't sell for that much. For those who already have a collection and want a deeper, visceral experience, track down these artists that recreated the scent of an Apple product fresh out of the box. Or just buy some Apple products.
Am I at risk of turning into a box fetishist? How does this happen?
Apple does this on purpose, as we discussed yesterday. From the moment someone steps into the store to buy a product, the company tries really hard to get people attached. Some turn into run of the mill loyal Apple customers, and others into fanboys and fetishists. Some might even collect these things with the hope that one day they will be worth something. Old Apple computers have sold over $200,000 grand. If you have bought an Apple product, ever, you might feel a special something about the paraphernalia that others would consider garbage.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.