Prez-Elect Obama is conflicted about having to give up his Blackberry when he’s sworn into office in January. As a dedicated Blackberry user for years, I say let it go. Yes, it can be argued that the Blackberry has helped us increase our productivity. But at what cost? To me, the ability to write and respond to emails at 1am is not a societal advance. And I’d rather not be subjected to any more meals where I sit in silence while my dining companions have their heads down, clicking away to somebody else.
It’s not that I’m anti-technology. I love me some gadgets. There are many amazing things to geek out about on my Blackberry. I can check and update my Facebook status on the go. I always have access to IMdB (which comes in handy to quickly settle inevitable movie fanboy debates). Brick Breaker is a good time killer since I’m compulsively early. Google Maps has saved my ass more times than Superman has rescued Lois Lane. But owning a Blackberry means that you will NEVER BE ABLE TO STOP CHECKING YOUR EMAIL!
It’s 11pm on a Saturday night and I’m up doing the usual, watching cartoons on YouTube, when out of the corner of my eye I see the red light on my Blackberry blinking. I try to resist but I am rendered powerless. I know that there isn’t a single thing that demands my attention at this late hour on a weekend, yet like a moth to a flame, I have no free will and am compelled to pick up the device. As soon as I do, I am jerked out of one of my few relaxing weekend moments and thrust into work.
Also, the keyboard on a Blackberry is impossible to lock. Nevermind that unlocking mine requires pressing a button on the top to take it out of standby mode, followed by hitting two different keys in sequential order, when the phone is placed in my pocket it’s simply a matter of time before the damn thing unlocks and I end up accidentally calling Grandma. To combat this, I have to constantly take the Blackberry out of my pocket to check that it’s still locked. This either causes people to think that I am one of those Blackberry junkies who can’t go for 10 minutes without checking my email. Or while making sure it’s locked, I will inadvertently see the red flashing beacon of doom and be forced to check it, confirming to my friends that I am indeed a Blackberry junkie who can’t go for 10 minutes without checking my email. I am convinced that the only reason why they don’t just make a keyboard lock switch, like they have on an iPod, is because the people who make Blackberries are malicious bastards who feed off of our suffering.
So Mr. Soon-To-Be President, I applaud that you’re a tech-savvy guy and am really glad you want to be the first president who has a computer in the Oval Office, but you are being given the sacred key to the Blackberry handcuffs. I suggest you use it and never look back.