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Standing in line for iPhone reveals psychological issue?

People wait for the release of the iPhone 5 in San Francisco. (Facebook photo/Sammy Abdu)

PHOENIX -- A lot of people may stand in line to buy the new iPhone 5 at Apple stores on Friday morning, but does that betray a deeper psychological issue?

Valley psychologist Dena Cabrera can understand why people want an iPhone. She laughed as she said, "I have an iPhone, and I would literally sleep with mine if I could. Just kidding!"

For many people, standing in line all night to be the first to buy something gives them kind of a thrill, but Cabrera said some do it because they're trying to define themselves using exterior objects.

"There's that innate feeling in us that we want to be the first to experience things so that we can brag about it," she said. "We can have that identity of this is what I own. This is what makes me me."

Cabrera said that standing in line all night to buy something is fine once in a while, but if more often than that could be a problem.

"You have to step back and say ‘Gosh, is this going to interfere with my responsibilities?' " she said. " 'Am I going to be able to function tomorrow? Am I going to be able to go to work? Is this going to be a problem?' "

Cabrera said that if a person needs to stand in line all night to buy a product or going to a midnight showing of a film becomes "constant and consistent ... that's when you have to kind of re-evaluate your priorities," she said.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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