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So you’ve decided that you’re interested in whatever Apple has to announce on Tuesday. Now you’re probably wondering how you should prepare for this consumeristic clusterfuck and what to expect in the hours and days following the announcement. That’s okay. We’ll do this together.

The day before the event.

Congratulations, you’re expecting an Apple announcement to come any day now! Here’s what’s most likely to happen in this stage of development:

  • Last-minute reports and leaks. Apple employees and other “sources familiar with the situation” tend to loosen their lips the day before the announcement, leading to a flurry of soon-to-be confirmed or debunked reports and reactions based on those reports, creating a miniature replica of the craziness sure to occur just a day later.
  • At least one publication will post a mockup of whatever products Apple plans to announce the next day, offering their readers a sneak peek of what they’ll be able to see in a final, Apple-designed form just a few hours later. You might even see what the box looks like!
  • Rumor roundups. Everything the designated Apple reporter at whichever tech publication you prefer to read knows, might know, or thinks they read a few months ago on DigiTimes will be thrown into a post. Expect lots of questions, mealy-mouthed predictions, and “we’ll have to wait and see!” remarks.

An hour before the event starts.

The announcement is almost here! By now you should be familiar with all of the rumors and expectations practically everyone with a pulse will bring to the event. Now you’re going to need to:

  • Find some good liveblogs. A good liveblog doesn’t crash under the millions of pageviews any Apple announcement is sure to bring, offers plenty of images and direct quotes, and links to bigger stories posted as the announcement unfolds. It’s always good to have a backup (or eight), just in case.
  • Dust off your Apple TV. Apple offered live video streaming of its WWDC developer conference in June, and it might do the same with today’s event. Make sure your Apple TV is ready to go just in case — if worst comes to worst you can watch “Orange Is the New Black” or “Breaking Bad” or whichever show you’re binge-watching this week.
  •  Prepare yourself for the images of people waiting in line for the event. Expect self-deprecating “Oh God, I’m standing in line!” comments meant to mask the writers’ glee at being invited to Apple’s event when you’re stuck refreshing Twitter. Feel smug as you burrow into a comfortable chair and enjoy being able to eat, drink, and go to the bathroom.

The event starts.

Apple’s little bundle of joy is about to enter the world!

  • Phil Schiller, Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, and who-knows-who-else are about to take the stage and deliver yet another series of adjective-laden speeches meant to convince everyone that their new product is “magical” and that Apple’s still got it, baby.
  • Lots of direct quotes on Twitter. Try to retweet the best ones without letting any of your followers know who you aggregated the info from or where they might be able to keep up with today’s announcement.
  • Jokes. There are going to be so many jokes. Try thinking of different ways to say that Gene Munster is about to do something because Apple just did/didn’t announce a television set. Say that Cook or Schiller or whoever should’ve just dropped the mic after a kinda-funny statement. Steal other people’s jokes.

An hour after the event ends.

Man, that was intense! Now we’re ready to begin the next phase of Apple’s announcement: the post-announcement rush.

  • Hands-on with Apple’s new devices. Expect to see a lot of posts that go from housing one paragraph and a “Developing…” note to having a bunch of writing that no-one cares about and a video of Apple’s latest products that everyone’s going to watch, even if they just sat through the event.
  • Instant analysis about the price or features of the new products. Is the iPhone 5C cheap enough? Is the iPhone 5S big enough to compete with phablets? Is iOS 7 bad enough that consumers will switch to Android?

Later that night. 

By now you’re probably tired of refreshing Twitter, combing through RSS feeds, and checking out Apple’s website. This is when the real fun begins:

  • Pointing out that the iPhone whatever, like every other smartphone released in the last few years, is boring. Consumer technology is boring. People are stupid for caring about the new iPhone when intelligence agencies around the world are busy gathering every scrap of digital information they can find about anyone, anywhere.
  • Someone’s going to say that something — a feature, a price, a turn of phrase — wouldn’t have happened if Steve Jobs were still alive. Someone else will say that this is proof that Tim Cook is/isn’t the right man to lead Apple. Another person will (rightly) note that it’s the rest of the executive team, like Eddy Cue and Jony Ive, who matter.
  • “How the iPhone just killed/hurt/helped Apple/Microsoft/Google/Samsung/Amazon by [thing that happened]“

Even later.

  • Drinking. Lots of drinking.

[Image via Fubiz]