Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Breaking Up With Blackberry

While I am typing this blog post, my blackberry is quietly sleeping inside the pouch. I have switched it off ! Because I do not want her to hear what I have to say “ I am breaking with my blackberry”

It’s been on my mind for a long time and it’s not an overnight decision taken out of boredom.  There are many reasons why I am taking this step. Even though I am quite sure, Harshu (The Husband) is getting irritated with me vocalizing my need to change my phone , I think it’s time to irritate him more and switch over. 

Reason 1 : It’s a time waster.
While I completely understand that gadgets don’t rule you , and you need to keep a tab on how you use them, I don’t think I am disciplined enough to ignore the flickering red light and frequent beeps made by my blackberry. Any time of the day, it is calling out to me, tempting me to read all the emails (including the silly spam messages of winning a billion pound lottery!) I know I can simple chose not to read it or read it when I have time, but to be honest that never happens. I simply cannot do away with the temptation of reading it then and there. 

Reason 2 : Anti-Social Networking
Up until three days ago, I subscribed to ‘complete internet experience’ by having web browsing enabled on my phone. Which meant that I could browse facebook, twitter and use google whenever I wanted. I also used the BBM (Black Berry Messenger) service to keep in touch with ‘friends’ with frequent small chat messages. I realized that though the purpose of social networking is to ‘connect’ with people, very frequently I have had people in my ‘friends list on facebook’ who are no longer fitting into the ‘good friends’ category. On BBM, though I have couple of close friends, I would like to connect with them better than just forwarding jokes and typing silly ‘Hi’ messages! I feel if you want to keep your relationship alive with a friend, isn’t it better to call the friend once in a while, instead of ‘liking’ facebook status or sending a BBM and having a small talk about nothing in particular?

No matter how much you talk to a person over internet, it cannot be compared to a telephonic talk or meeting in person. And blackberry is in reality not bringing me closer to people , but taking the relationship to a new artificial level. 

 Reason 3 : I do not need internet to stay alive.
I am a major internet addict. A day without internet seems empty for me. But I wasn’t like this few years ago. I used to spend limited time on internet and could take out time for my other passions like reading , photography etc. Lately, I have just been a couch potato browsing internet at home and pretending that it’s my hobby. Well you can cultivate hobbies online like blogging , but I haven’t done that much either. So I guess it’s time to cut down on internet and to move from virtual to ‘real’ life.
In any case I have to be online 10 to 5.30 everyday in office and I think that is sufficient enough time to do work online and also take care of personal emailing. 

Reason 4 : Blackberry cannot become your alter ego!
Actually it applies not only to blackberry but also to any other smart phone. We are living in a superficial world where people judge and impress others with their phones and not qualities. If you see a modestly dressed woman or a man walking around with a blackberry or an expensive phone, you immediately think ‘oh he/she must be really important to have a blackberry or a smart phone’. Why should the price of a gadget determine your worth? Why shouldn’t it be the other way round? 

I think to some extent this holds true for me as well. Though I do not judge people based on their phones, I guess when I reply people from my blackberry it gives me a slightly devilish pleasure that I cannot describe in words. And that’s exactly what I want to get away from. 

Phones or any gadgets are for our convenience and it should in no way define who we are. 

Reason 5 : I can deal with a basic phone!
I try to go back to the basic question as to why we need phones in our lives? I need phone basically to call people, to send SMS, to have a calendar and calculator handy . That’s it ! I can check emails on my office or home laptop and that would be sufficient. In any case my work does not involve any urgent situation where I have to be on mails 24 X 7. 

My mom said a very funny thing the other day. And it really made a lot of sense to me. When I told her that I am planning to switch to a basic phone and give up blackberry, she said “ Go ahead! In any case when you call people from your fancy blackberry , it does not mean that you get to hear something magical. Any phone would let you hear human voices and let you send text” 

So I am sure this is a good time to ‘break up with blackberry’ and I hope it’s for good!

-          Amruta

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