The BlackBerry was a status system; a smart phone that set smart people aside from dummies like me. I recall the delight of a friend who ended up with two BlackBerries after her work supplied another one. She'd fumble around with them both and rub it in my face in the way only two Blackberry owners can. Or rather could.
I entered the smart phone generation late and I finally made my way to one of those stores where the young people behind the counter talk in a different language and tell you what a great deal they have got for you by reducing your monthly cell phone bill from $4,000 to $3,500, about three years ago. I only opted for a Blackberry because it had chunky keys and a tray you could pull out. My thinking was already behind the times. It was as if I had showed up at Best Buy and demanded a Sony Walkman. The woman behind the counter gave me a funny look and recommended counseling.
Soon after signing up for a BlackBerry I realized that most other people had iPhones. I don't just mean yuppies either. It was not uncommon to push one's way past the lavatory cleaner before she barged in and expressed horror that someone was daring to urinate in the toilets, and to see a top of the range, $600 iPhone sticking out of the pocket of her $9 jeans from Wal-Mart.
Soon BlackBerry shame broke out. If I was at media functions I felt a sense of reticence at pulling out my BlackBerry. I started to shun such events. I even went a whole year without talking to another human being. After a week of a recurring dream of falling out of an airplane holding hands with a midget with a face like Nancy Reagan, I saw a doctor. He tapped my reflexes with a hammer. Then he asked me to produce my smart phone. Nervously I brought the thing into the harsh light and he smiled a knowing smile and uttered the words: "BlackBerry shame."
Get stuffed pal - the old BlackBerry
I know some people suffered separation angst from their BlackBerries but mine was more of a CrapBerry. It jammed up half of the time with an enormously annoying circular timer going round like an egg timer clogged with sticking sand. The egg timer would kill the battery.As I drove along I would angrily pull out the battery with a credit card, only to find I had cracked my Visa card and the battery had flown under the car seat. At the next stop light I would fumble under the seat only to pull up a jaded chicken nugget from two weeks ago. Had I put it in the battery compartment, it may have done a better job.
Over time I leaned coping mechanisms. I used an expired Starbucks card or a Disney pass instead of a current credit card and became a maestro at battery popping. Still it occurred to me that this was not meant to be part of the whole smart phone experience.
After learning I was eligible for a free upgrade to an iPhone, I gladly took along my Crapberry knowing it was facing a certain death. The efficient woman at AT&T told me I could upgrade to a sleek iPhone 5S for a mere $200. I was going from the stone age to the cutting edge in the space of one lunch time. Admittedly the 5S looked just like the 4S to me, but what did I know? With the air of a priest performing a religious mass, she applied the protection screen, and I wad good to go.
I have now utilized about 5 percent of the iPhone's functions, but it's clear to me that this device rocks and I can do so many things that my CrapBerry failed to do miserably. I may even be able to get those videos on YouTube.
In a strange way I will miss that red light and the pinging sound. But I won't lose any sleep over it.