Last week I was at a press conference and I looked around me at a sea of iPhones, tablets and Droids. Sheepishly I pulled out my BlackBerry and hid it under my notebook in the hope nobody would notice it.
It used to be so different back in the day. When my late father-in-law would jet in to London en route to Milan and then on to Rio his BlackBerry was his constant companion. It's somewhat poignant that it was with him on his death bed, pinging away notifications to the last.
My problem is I only acquired one recently. Even at the time I had evidence the days of the Crackberry when users were so addicted they were at risk from walking into utility poles were long gone. I oped for it because I rather liked the hard sticky up, pressy buttons as they are technically called as opposed to on screen buttons.
Although I upgraded recently to a slicker version, at a stupid cost, I still feel like I was Canute trying to hold back the tide; a bit like opting for a streamlined Brontosaurus as a pet at two-mintes-to-Meteor strike.
Now the news is not great from Planet BlackBerry. A recent report in MSN money stated even White House staffers have discarded the BackBerry in favor of the iPhone.
The decision was apparently influenced by the President himself who now prefers his iPad. for national security briefings.
A spokesman for the White House declined to comment (but promptly hurled his BlackBerry from an upper floor window).
Even my 2-year-old isn't interested in wrecking my BlackBerry or throwing it down the toilet and says he prefers to play Cut the Rope on an iPhone.
Over the last few weeks I have been starting to feel the onset of BlackBerry shame. It has manifested itself in an unwillingness to pull the infernal thing out of my jacket pocket in a public place in case people openly chortle, a pleasure I have not enjoyed since the days of small dog ownership.
It's all rather unfortunate given that I was once at the cutting edge of cellular phone techology. I owned a cell phone (read mobile phone in UK parlance) when few other people did. Admittedly it was the size of a compact water heater, cost about $10 per call to use and you could only get a signal if you climbed half way up the only cellphone tower in London. Still, it was a status symbol, even if I ended up going around with lacerated jacket pockets that the thing had gouged its way through en route to the molten heart at the center of the earth.
Now when I procude my BlackBerry and hit the big clunky buttons I feel as if I am hanging out in Starbucks asking if the WiFi will hook up to my typewriter.