Past and future have really been dancing around lately, with the latest trailer for Star Wars Episode 7 and Back to the Future Day happening all in the same week. I also heard a funny story about how sometimes technology doesn’t work so well.
Back in good ‘ol ’99, Star Wars Episode 1 came out. Me, as well as a bunch of my buddies, did what any die hard fan growing up with dreams of the Force and X-Wings would do. We camped out to get tickets. Yep, a week before the release, we went down to Edwards Big in Newport Beach and camped out in a crazy long line, playing toilet paper volleyball, listening (and speculating) over what the pre-released soundtrack means, and all sorts of other fun things. The following week we wore our costumes (many hand made) and celebrated at a midnight showing.
Sure the Internet was around, but it was still pretty “new” to the average person. No ordering of tickets, or fancy auction sites (well eBay was just getting off the ground really at that point), or streaming your favorite TV shows over it. It’s pretty amazing at how far the information flow has progressed. Nowadays if I want to see a new movie, I can order my tickets from the comfort of my home (and avoid that huge line) and simply walk up to the theatre and get them and enjoy. Or I can wait a few months and simply rent it from my living room and stream it to my TV. What a crazy convenience.
…until it isn’t. With Star Wars Episode 7 tickets going on pre-sale earlier this week [what?! no amazing campout lines?! Nearly a two month wait?! Argh!!!], news spread about the online ticketing sites crashing due to the huge demand. I chuckled to myself a little since I’ve heard this story one too many times for previous events in the past. That’s when I was surprised to hear about a friend (and coworker) who snagged 50 tickets [you’re now allowed THAT many tickets!!!] in a major metropolitan area on that same day! I got to talk to him briefly and asked how he pulled it off. Was he lucky with the timing? Did he have a bunch of family hit the site from multiple computers? Some kind of trickery?
Nope. He drove to the movie theatre and ordered them in person!!! Nothing fancy. There was one person in front of him in line being serviced, and they werne’t even getting pre-sale tickets. He ordered, paid, and walked out in mere minutes. Pure genius right?!
It helps remind me that technology is great, but sometimes it isn’t the be-all-end-all to our needs, as it should be.