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It even comes with an extra long twisty tie! Let's keep it safe.
April 10, 2011 1:07 PM   Subscribe


 
good stuff.. unboxing videos always seem to have this weird mix of the shallowest kind of consumerism along with a weird masturbatory aesthetic.
posted by modernnomad at 1:16 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


surprisingly well done, i loved the breathless amazement of wonder of the twisty ties as the music swelled.
posted by neustile at 1:17 PM on April 10, 2011


giggle!
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:24 PM on April 10, 2011


That was great. I love how it's more of an "unproducting" than an "unboxing"...
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:24 PM on April 10, 2011


UPPER CASE
posted by Burhanistan at 1:25 PM on April 10, 2011


Hee! Cute.

Ashen's are the only good unboxing videos.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:26 PM on April 10, 2011


To be fair, though, that was a pretty awesome twisty tie!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:27 PM on April 10, 2011


Two twisty ties!
posted by fartknocker at 1:30 PM on April 10, 2011


Quality unboxing video. Not sure if it's pro- or anti- consumerism, though.
posted by The White Hat at 1:32 PM on April 10, 2011


I hate unboxing videos but not really because of the consumerism. It's like those people that videotape *every* event as though they are going to ever watch it again or like anyone not there would care one whit about it, at least in that detail. Even the most doting grandparents would like to know how the school play went but not actually sit through all 2 hours of it in a shaky, homemade recording. "Masturbatory" isn't really the word. It's more like...if I record something permanently, then I know for sure that it happened. Except it happened less (for you) by virtue of you being behind the camera.
posted by DU at 1:33 PM on April 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


So unboxing videos are a thing? I didn't know this was a thing. After watching this and finding it funny that the unboxer (is that the proper term?) ignored the product for the wrapping, I went looking for other unboxing videos, which were just like this parody.

Who watches unboxing videos? Is there a measure for quality? What's the point of watching someone unpack a box of some product? I find taking the product out of the box the most annoying part of buying something, so why would people watch these?

Again...this is a thing?
posted by xingcat at 1:36 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't think I've ever watched an unboxing video. I suppose I would if I bought something and thought the packaging didn't look quite right or if I bought something used and wanted to see if anything was missing.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 1:37 PM on April 10, 2011


I've watched unboxing videos. I'm an unabashed gadget-chaser. I think the allure certainly includes at least a portion of the 'masturbatory' in that yes, getting a new electronic toy is awesome and certainly must provide some sort of dopamine rush. Unboxing videos certainly provide a way to at least experience that thrill second-hand. Frequently electronics have staggered availability so it's also a way to see a new product in an uncontrolled setting (i.e. not at a tradeshow). That said, unboxing videos can be pretty embarassing. See this post from Android Central today about the Asus Pad Eee Transformer (basically an Android tablet with a laptop dock, similar to the Motorola Atrix). The comments are super embarassing, full of people complaining about the guy's unboxing technique. They remind me of comments I might see on YouPorn or something.
posted by ofthestrait at 1:45 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Again...this is a thing?

It became a thing when there was a lot of hype around Apple's very nice packaging of the early iDevices. Which at least had novelty value.
posted by rodgerd at 1:50 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Unboxing videos are definitely masturbatory, and I kind of think that's awesome. If people get a vicarious bit of the pleasure they'd get carefully unwrapping some new bit of hardware from watching someone else do it, it seems like a total plus for all concerned.

I've actually found them pretty handy (as someone who doesn't really get into the ritual of unpacking new things so much as actually playing around with them) when I've been shopping for a new phone or whatever and I've had trouble finding pictures of the thing actually in someone's hand, under normal-ish light, rather than triple-secured to a trade show stand at its best angle.
posted by emmtee at 1:55 PM on April 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


every time i leave a comment, i unbox an idea.
posted by the aloha at 1:59 PM on April 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Again...this is a thing?

I've understood the unboxing videos on gadget sites as a kind of finale; after the leaked memos, the blurry industrial-espionage snapshots, the in-house prototypes, and the beta pre-releases. Once it's in the box, then it's finally the product.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:01 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I use unboxing videos to look for what my lost AC adapters look like for any particular gadget. So they do serve some purpose.
posted by reiichiroh at 2:01 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The good thing about unboxing videos (or really, generally, just ordinary people reviewing stuff) is that you get a much better sense of what the thing looks like, and what actually comes with it. Web stores tend to ALL have the same 3 pictures of gadgets, supplied by the manufacturer, and sometimes they are surprisingly vague or inconsistent with the stated specs.. Just some ordinary guy unpacking and showing it is nearly as good as 4 pages of arbitrary benchmarks.
posted by Harry at 2:01 PM on April 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Seconding that unboxing videos are actually pretty useful if you're trying to make an informed decision about products you either don't have direct access to or for which online retailers give scant information about.
posted by damo at 2:05 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


xingcat: So unboxing videos are a thing?

As a pacifist, I am very much in favor of un-boxing.

Wait, this isn't a discussion about nonviolent sports?
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:05 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Add this to the list of "apparently actual things I do not understand about Internet culture".
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 2:10 PM on April 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


The only way this video could be made better is if Phil Hartman was *sob* still alive to star in this video as *chokesob* the Anal Retentive Unboxer.
posted by PapaLobo at 2:14 PM on April 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


I love unpacking a new gadget, but someone else's unboxing video doesn't do it for me. The new gadget smell is half the pleasure.
posted by rifflesby at 2:15 PM on April 10, 2011


Is "twist tie" the predominant name of those things? I've always called them and heard them called "twistems", and I don't recall having heard other variations very often at all.

Regional thing maybe?
posted by aerotive at 2:15 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it is in this case. Much like Pittsburghers and some North Easterners call the remote the clicker.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:18 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


See also; pop, coke, soda pop, soda, and fountain drink being used in various parts of the country to mean fizzy drinks in general.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:19 PM on April 10, 2011


Once in a while, I watch unboxing videos for mystery boxes from Woot.com. They're fun to watch because there's the excitement of the unknown, and the hope that the minimal price paid yields something interesting, fun, or cool.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:21 PM on April 10, 2011


Oh, okay. I get (sort of) the idea of cool packaging, or mystery boxes, or leaked products. I always thought I was gadgety, but I'm not nearly as gadgety as most of the internet, and I guess I worked in retail so long that any type of packaging is just a painful thing to get through.

I kind of love the idea that there are people who look forward to seeing the latest video of someone taking a product out of a package. I don't know why, but it tickles me.
posted by xingcat at 2:24 PM on April 10, 2011


Seconding that unboxing videos are actually pretty useful if you're trying to make an informed decision about products you either don't have direct access to or for which online retailers give scant information about.

You could go into actual physical shops and buy there.

Oh, right, I forget, saving a few percent and hoping the product is one you actually want is a way better thing to do.
posted by rodgerd at 2:25 PM on April 10, 2011


The masturbatory uselessness of this unboxing video defies description.
posted by Ratio at 2:30 PM on April 10, 2011


So does Rule 34 apply to this as well?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:32 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This video got me to thinking about how much money companies could save if they spent a little cash to figure out how to package their product more efficiently and with less material. Surely you could save some money with minimal increased risk to the product?
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 2:34 PM on April 10, 2011


I've always wanted to see someone do an unboxing video for, like, a box of pencils.

All like rapturous description of how the guy waited in line (admittedly a very short line and only at the register) to get these beauties, maybe holding up the receipt, and a couple moments of holding up the box to the camera so the viewer can see it does indeed contain ten Mirado Black Warrior pencils, meticulously cutting the bit of tape that holds the box shut, etc.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 2:35 PM on April 10, 2011


The masturbatory uselessness of this unboxing video defies description.

This reminded me of watching an Orthodox Russian Christmas ceremony a long while back. Consumerism is definitely a new religion, and funnily enough, it imitates the hypermaterialism of older religions and their preoccupation with holy relics and holy places.

Thank goodness for modern manufacturing processes, or we'd be carrying out wars to recover the iPad of Cupertino.
posted by notion at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Have you ever noticed that someone hasn't peeled off that last clear protective film on the face of the new remote, or on the microwave display or control panel or whatever, and they WON'T EVER even after it becomes all nasty?

....but it's there to ptotect it!
posted by longsleeves at 2:45 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Rule 34... I'll need to do that... I'll need a pretty big box somehow.
posted by Morbuto at 2:50 PM on April 10, 2011


I can't say I've ever come across anything like an unboxing video,

But I just sat here transfixed by the Sisyphian meaninglessness in this with meditative awe for the last two and a half minutes.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:52 PM on April 10, 2011


You could go into actual physical shops and buy there.

Oh, right, I forget, saving a few percent and hoping the product is one you actually want is a way better thing to do.


You know, there are occasionally things that you can learn by seeing close-up photos and videos of a product and its assorted crap that would otherwise require purchasing the product, opening it, and then returning it if the details aren't satisfactory.

It's not like Best Buy is a promised land of easy returns.
posted by verb at 2:54 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it an unboxing video if your showing how you pull the circuit board out of a product you don't care so much about so that you can make something cool out of it?

If not, I was previously unaware of the phenomenon.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:55 PM on April 10, 2011


I find unboxing videos very useful. If I feel like getting some expensive gadget, I go and watch an unboxing video for it which reminds me how if I buy it I'll have another thing to maintain and upgrade and collect dust and be disappointed with and I end up saving a lot of time and money.
posted by telstar at 3:04 PM on April 10, 2011


I've always wanted to see someone do an unboxing video for, like, a box of pencils.

If it involved those Koh-I-Noor woodless Progressos, I'd watch it twice on Sundays. Art supply addiction is a damn expensive habit.
posted by cmyk at 3:09 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always called them and heard them called "twistems"...
Regional thing maybe?
posted by aerotive


I've always called rubber bands gum bands, but I do know it's weird.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:10 PM on April 10, 2011


I prefer my unboxing video criticism to be a little more subtle, a little more philosophical, and a little more British.
posted by Western Infidels at 3:12 PM on April 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Is this something I'd need to own a box to understand?
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:14 PM on April 10, 2011


Whispering, unboxing and asmr videos are all over the web. The best on youtube IMO is Soundsculptures
She turns the most mundane things into incredibly relaxing videos. And for those looking for pencils, sorting out her pencil case is her latest.
posted by GamesRmeLife at 3:17 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always wanted to see someone do an unboxing video for, like, a box of pencils.

How about a series of photos documenting the unboxing of a bunch of stapled paper and a couple of pens?
posted by milkrate at 3:18 PM on April 10, 2011


Those of you referring to this as masturbatory are close, but no cigar..

These are like losing your virginity.
posted by tomswift at 3:18 PM on April 10, 2011


Have you ever noticed that someone hasn't peeled off that last clear protective film on the face of the new remote, or on the microwave display or control panel or whatever, and they WON'T EVER even after it becomes all nasty?

Are you mocking ME?!?!? (Because I leave that plastic on some things.)

....but it's there to protect it!

Exactly!

Actually, it's not there to protect it during use, but if it serves that same purpose, why not let continue to do that job as long as it possibly can?

I'm not a member in good standing of the church of consumerism, so when I buy something, it's got to last for a good long while. Because if it gets crappy too quickly, I won't bother replacing it and will just do without. I know -- Bad American. (But I'm a great hippie.)
posted by hippybear at 3:35 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Morbuto: Rule 34... I'll need to do that... I'll need a pretty big box somehow.

It's been done
.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:41 PM on April 10, 2011


Unboxing is mainly enjoyed by those who experience ASMR.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and often moves down the spine and through the limbs.

Most ASMR episodes begin by an external or internal trigger, and are so divided for classification. Type A episodes are elicited by the experiencer using no external stimuli, and are typically achieved by specific thought patterns unique to the individual. Type B episodes are triggered involuntarily by an external trigger, via one or more senses, and may also involve specific thought patterns associated with the triggering event. Both types of triggers vary between individuals, but many are common to a large portion of ASMR enjoyers.

Common external triggers:

Exposure to slow, accented, or unique speech patterns

Viewing educational or instructive videos or lectures

Experiencing a high empathetic or sympathetic reaction to an event

Enjoying a piece of art or music

Watching another person complete a task, often in a diligent, attentive manner - examples would be filling out a form, writing a check, going through a purse or bag, inspecting an item closely, etc.

Close, personal attention from another person

Haircuts, or other touch from another on head or back


This information was taken from the informative website at http://www.asmr-research.org
posted by GamesRmeLife at 3:47 PM on April 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


Gotta love the branding on that craphound.com site. OF COURSE it's Cory Doctorow's craphound.com
posted by BeerFilter at 3:52 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I a bad person for thinking that GamesRmeLife was spinning a really good yarn until I plugged in his non-clickable URL and saw that it was real?

Am I also a bad person for doing a whois on the domain to make sure it wasn't created today just to provide cover for an elaborate leg-pulling?

Most of my pleasurable tinglings come from chemical ingestions or physical contact of an intimate sort. This is a new thing to me entirely. Maybe worth an FPP?
posted by hippybear at 3:58 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the best unboxing video.
posted by EmGeeJay at 4:56 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Anyone know of any of the sort of over-the-top but sincere unboxing videos that he's making fun of? I've seen a few but none that are unbearable.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:15 PM on April 10, 2011


GamesRmeLife, I can't thank you enough for posting that! I have (apparently) experienced the Type B kind for as long as I can remember, and I never knew why until today. My first memories of that awesome radiating scalp-tingly feeling are from watching Mr. Wizard episodes as a kid - it was the sounds that got me, all rolling up pieces of paper and sliding rubber bands on, or clinking glass and turning on burners. The sounds in the above-linked pencil case sorting video are having the same effect on me right now. It also happens when I get haircuts, and when people are watching me or thinking about me in greater detail than usual (and, indeed, when watching unboxing videos). I am totally thrilled to discover that this is A Thing. Thanks again.
posted by dialetheia at 5:46 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Apparently there is a whole subreddit full of ASMR-triggering videos, for anyone else who is interested.
posted by dialetheia at 5:47 PM on April 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Thanks GamesRmeLife. I too never knew there was a name for what I felt. Would definitely explain my love for Bob Ross and Buddhist podcasts. Would also explain my general PBS love as a child, sitting through incredibly boring crafting shows, where the slow talking, slow moving instructor would gracefully and gently move things into place.

And thanks dialetheia. Nice to know there's a central repository for junkies like me.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:06 PM on April 10, 2011


I'm rather partial to this unboxing video.
posted by spasm at 7:14 PM on April 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


spasm, you beat me to the Omnia by 10 seconds. My favorite too.
posted by dylanjames at 7:17 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, now I'm wishing we'd bought a new Omnia instead of a refurb.
posted by desjardins at 8:19 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The reverence with which I unbox a new electronic device I give not to the device itself, but rather to the 19 year old Chinese girl whose work I am undoing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:24 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently there is a whole subreddit full of ASMR-triggering videos, for anyone else who is interested.

WTF???

Holy shit. How utterly bizarre. It's as if some alternate dimension has opened and a new reality has intersected with mine. How can this be a real thing??? Goodness gracious. Someone reprogrammed the Matrix and forgot to send me the update.
posted by hippybear at 9:49 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also masturbatory consumerism is haul videos, the YouTube equivalent of 'well try it on!' when you get home.
posted by ao4047 at 11:19 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


A part of me would like to go on a shopping spree one day, and do a haul video, but just show off the plastic bags and receipts. Ideally, then the camera zooms out to reveal I'm a hoarder who has embraced the haul lifestyle far too much.

Unfortunately, I lack the money, personality, and hoarder-style living quarters to create such a video.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:31 PM on April 10, 2011


Wow. I have this. ASMR. I so do. Thank you GamesRmeLife, for allowing me to put a name on this.

Last night I spent over two hours looking for an old video that always triggered it, but was deleted some time ago from youtube. Most of the videos that dialethia linked trigger it for me. God, the ear cleaning. I could watch it for hours.

It feels good, sorta like disconnecting from the world, like getting a buzz from drinking a glass of wine, like a light mj trip. Like fingers running on your back.

But I never knew it had a name. I thought about postng to AskMefi but, how does one phrase this? "I have a tingling sensation, it's good, please help"?

But I knew Metafilter had the answer.
posted by omegar at 6:16 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was so horrified after hearing a radio piece about haul videos that I immediately made one for myself, but no matter how stupid, facile, and ridiculous you try to be, you just can't beat the horror of the real thing.
posted by sonascope at 6:18 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am -nervocurious- to learn if there is something similar for people opening booster packs of Magic the Gathering cards.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:28 AM on April 11, 2011


It was something that i only recently learned about myself. glad to share the info.
posted by GamesRmeLife at 7:56 AM on April 11, 2011


http://www.youtube.com/user/SOUNDsculptures
posted by GamesRmeLife at 8:01 AM on April 11, 2011


Is it ASMR if you like those videos where they squeeze/tweezer the bot flies out of somebody's back?
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:27 AM on April 11, 2011


Is it ASMR if you like those videos where they squeeze/tweezer the bot flies out of somebody's back?

Dear god. Just reading that sentence make my sphincter clench.
posted by hippybear at 9:34 AM on April 11, 2011


And evidently ruins my grammar skills, too.
posted by hippybear at 9:36 AM on April 11, 2011


I get it whenever Link opens a treasure chest. A big one, not the tiny ones that always contain 5 rupees or a key.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:37 AM on April 11, 2011


... and I think that's unboxing. Shit.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:38 AM on April 11, 2011


I am -nervocurious- to learn if there is something similar for people opening booster packs of Magic the Gathering cards.

I hadn't thought about it before, but oh man is there ever.
posted by jedicus at 9:44 AM on April 11, 2011


Ok, most packaging is lame, but I feel the need to mention that one of the many reasons for Apple's success is great industrial design that includes superb packaging. I throw away every package except my MacBook Pro boxes. Those things, frisbees and all, are truly well done. It has the pseudo-zen Jobsian minimalism written all over it. The packaging is designed sacred, like the tea ceremony - a transcendent process that can briefly transcend the mundane decadence of compulsive consumerism. Instead, the compulsion to tear it all away is tempered by layers of materials and shapes, absurd in their self-importance and profoundly dedicated to enshrining their experience. Packaging, to some companies utilitarian, is a well designed religious experience to Apple. It is packaging that subtly describes the cult of our latent desire for finality, a casket for our manifested desires.
posted by thebestusernameever at 6:46 PM on April 11, 2011


I alerted my friend to the ASMR site and she responded that she thought everyone got that feeling. We watched Soundsculpture's pencil case video last night and it clearly did the job. She first experimented with trying to trigger the response in herself by doing the same pencil case sorting activity. She was surprised that I could watch the video without feeling anything. Somehow it felt redundant to point out this was a video of someone going through a pencil case and testing the pens and pencils. She will fall asleep within the first ten minutes of Pan's Labyrinth, Soy Cuba or Withnail and I, but ten minutes of pencil case action has her transfixed!

The only problem she had with the pencil case video was that the erasers were not cleaned. Apparently you can do this by rubbing them against a blank sheet of paper until all the surfaces are rubbed down to pristine cleanliness. I wonder if there is a link between OCD and ASMR?

When she is 'in a trance' she doesn't blink or speak, this will last for the duration of the activity, and some time afterward. It can be a bit problematic as she is a research biologist and often has to watch other people performing methodical activities at work. Apparently it is more severe if they are using her equipment to demonstrate a technique.
posted by asok at 1:32 AM on April 12, 2011


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