The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Queue Fever, Now That's Crossing A "Line"


Yeah, pandas are pretty cute, but would you wait four hours to see one?
Taipei Zoo’s newest addition, baby panda Yuan Zai, caught the public eye when it came into the world early July of last year. The anticipation built up by local news channels and newspapers brought in almost 10,000 visitors on Yuan Zai’s debut day. The panda enthusiasts lined up for up to four hours before the opening of the zoo – its popularity has even caused the zoo to introduce a specific ticketing system specifically for entrance into the Panda hall.
Is this unbridled insanity, or is this respectable dedication to wildlife? Or is queuing an ingrained part of Taiwan’s culture? Are we part of a herd culture?
The new opening of Krispy Kreme in Taipei’s Xin Yi district is another example of Taipei’s dedication to queues. A couple went to extremes by camping outside of the shop three days before the American donut shop’s grand opening.
I’m convinced the fad will die down, because the same thing eventually happened in 2005 when Mr Donut opened up, and with Dunkin Donuts in 2007. All 19 outlets of Dunkin Donuts were pulled out of Taiwan and Mr Donut shops are also slowly disappearing.
People also queued for Zara when it opened, but who bothers now?
Maybe it’s just great advertising, or maybe we’re just obsessed. When something new and exciting comes to town, we just can’t wait to get our hands on it. Dr Laura Brannon, a social psychologist at Kansas State University, argues that people who are motivated by social influence want to fit in. According to Dr Brannon, people tend to have a high need to be unique because they are very motivated to buy items that are in high demand.
But hey, at least you get to check in on Facebook and brag about how you spent hours shivering in the cold for a box of donuts. Now that’s true commitment.

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