I’m so ashamed of the BlackBerry I don’t own

I love reading articles about tech gear I don’t have and probably won’t be in the market for any time soon.

There’s this howler right now in the New York Times / International Herald Tribune about how BlackBerry owners are so embarrassed and ashamed of their devices because of the many things they can’t do in comparison to an iPhone or other Android device.

BlackBerry outcasts say that they increasingly endure shame and public humiliation as they watch their counterparts use social networking apps that are not available to them, take higher-resolution photos, and effortlessly navigate streets – and the Internet – with better GPS and faster browsing.

In the next sentence we discover how these luckless BlackBerry-owning wretches are forced to do things that most everyone did about five years ago:

This means that they have to request assistance to get directions, book travel, make restaurant reservations or look up sports scores.

God, what a horrible life they must lead.

Imagine having to contact another human being to find out a piece of information, even if it is only to ask another human being with a better device to gather said information from the Internet.

And what about that shame?  Unless you’re psychopathic, shame happens to us all.  We feel shame and even public humiliation when we realise that everyone knows we’ve done something most consider to be wrong.   So should I feel ashamed because I freely admit to my readers that I do not own a BlackBerry, or an iPhone, or an Androgizmoid?  That all I need is a Nokia cellphone and that no, I don’t have an app for whatever it is you’re looking for?  Is it humiliating to do as I’ve always done and look up the sports scores in a newspaper?

And what about holders of older iPhones?  Will they start having to hide them under a book or buy camouflage because their version doesn’t have the fastest connection technology?  Where is this obsession with tech taking us when our measure of our place in society is how many bazillagigabytes of information we can stream while eating ice cream and crossing the street?

I don’t know, maybe living in Germany for 15 years has atrophied my sense of irony, but the tone of the article was pretty straight-forward.  And its message is simple, updated for today: keep up with the Joneses, or feel the shame.  It’s been the same since people first started to wear clothing and seek warm shelter.

I do know that smartphones are capable of transforming the way we live our lives, and maybe mine would change for the better if I got one. The fact that most everyone I know has or wants one makes me wonder how it is I keep missing the point.   I’m tempted sometimes, but for now – just for now – no thanks.  I want to hold on to a bit of my old ways a little longer.  Maybe like the vinyl I listened to while writing this, cellphones will one day come back into fashion and I won’t have to feels like such a schmuck all the time.

17 Responses to “I’m so ashamed of the BlackBerry I don’t own”

  1. October 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

    My six-year-old flip phone has taken to regularly crashing, so I had to replace it.
    My replacement arrived yesterday. It’s another flip phone.🙂

    • October 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

      That article makes the point that sooner or later the flip-phone will be phased out and everyone will own some version of a smartphone. I dunno. There has to be a lingering market for the basic phone that just does that: phone. And text a bit.

  2. 4 faz
    October 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I agree that the social media, internet, map functions on phone are not the meaning of life. but wtf I didn’t realise blackberries were so limited! No wonder they are failing!!

  3. October 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Amen. I’m still making do with my ‘smart enough’ phone, although people do look at me askance when they know that I’m the head of our IT department.

  4. October 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I thin I’m in trouble…

  5. October 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    So much so I can’t type —
    that would be I THINK I’m in trouble

  6. 8 Max
    October 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    J’ai aussi vu l’article du NY Times, Ian, et je suis complètement d’accord avec toi! À quoi rime toute cette compétition pour avoir sur soi le dernier outil technologique?

  7. October 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    My phone cost 20 euros. I’m happy with that for now.

  8. October 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I will not hear a bad word said about blackberries. They’re delicious. No shame in saying it. I haven’t tried flip phones, nor smart phones, but can’t imagine they taste even half as good.

  9. October 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I have a lovely Samsung flip phone. I can talk to people, and if I had to I could text. Not only that, I’ve discovered it has a lovely alarm clock function, for mornings when I have to be up at 5 a.m. and don’t trust the cat to do the job. (The real alarm clock died two years ago. Now that I’ve found my phone alarm, I probably won’t replace it.)

    Even with my outdated technology, I can tell east from south and make my way through unfamliar cities. What’s truly strange is walking through a crowd where everyone else is staring into a device. It can have a bit of a night-of-the-living-dead feel to it.

    • October 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

      The first time I had that feeling was having someone walk in my direction seeming as if they were talking to me, but they were looking through me, talking on that cyborg thing stuck in one ear. I’m sure it allows them to continue working on their handheld at the same time, so that’s OK then.

  10. October 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S2. While I am happy about the many new things that it can do, I still don’t rely too much on it. It really annoys me when people correct me for something that I know is fact, just because the navigation on their smartphone says so.

  11. 15 Davey
    October 26, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I specifically told my cellphone provider that I did not want to receive and to block my ability to send texts. I do not want to have to pay 15 cents to do something that I can do by ‘phoning them. I rarely use my ‘phone (probably ’cause there’s no-one I NEED to call).
    Is it necessary (or even good) to be connected ALL THE TIME? I woulld be willing to wager that most people use less than 10 per cent of the functions available to them. Executives and business-types who think they must be connected, even while on vacation, are deluded with a heightened (and unhealthy) sense of their own self importance.

    • October 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Well, Davey me lad, ya got no argument from me there. Cellphones can be handy, though. (That’s an English – German joke I thought you’d like.) What I mean is, what if you’re sitting in a bus and you have to tell someone where you are? How else are you going to do that? I mean, it must be important to give this news out, because EVERYONE does it.

      I was once ragged on because I like sending email. Why are we sending email, when we could be phoning by cellphone? We live in the same city? No way to make this person understand I hate using cellphones.

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