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In defense of the Blackberry

I often describe the Blackberry as the all-season tire of cell phones: it performs a variety of functions and none of them particularly well. I used to make relentless fun of anyone I knew who owned one. In fact, I still do. I guess you could say my Blackberry and I have a love-hate relationship.

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By Dessa Bayrock (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: February 27, 2013

Photo Credit Amy Van Veen

Hi. My name is Dessa, and I own a Blackberry.

There was a brief period when Blackberries were cool, but I bought my “smartphone” well after this era had ended. I’m not sure what drew me to the physical keys in an age of touch-screen, or why I invested in a hunk of plastic instead of a modern glass-and-aluminum iPhone, but I did. It might be because I like to root for the underdog, and RIM is definitely an underdog. Maybe I like supporting Canadian businesses, or maybe I was impressed that such a promising company was able to pour itself down the drain in such a small period of time.

I often describe the Blackberry as the all-season tire of cell phones: it performs a variety of functions and none of them particularly well. I used to make relentless fun of anyone I knew who owned one. In fact, I still do.

I guess you could say my Blackberry and I have a love-hate relationship.

My version is the second-newest Curve. It’s not a great phone. It’s not even a particularly good phone. But we make it work, my Blackberry and I. We’re decent to each other for the most part, and the times it freezes or refuses to recognize it’s in a service area are about balanced by the times I spill things on it or hurl it across the room.

One thing’s for sure: I could never be this cruel to an iPhone.

I won’t lie – sometimes I’m tempted by early upgrade offers, the futuristic abilities of swiping and drawing on a touch screen, and apps that actually work. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled up the specs on Samsung, Apple and even LG products. I study them intensely, but at the end of the day I close the tabs.

I just can’t do it.

Maybe my Blackberry and I are in an abusive relationship, but I think we truly love each other. So what if its cheap plastic keys render me incapable of texting without alerting everyone in a 15-foot radius? So what if I have to pull the battery out on a semi-weekly basis to make it unfreeze and behave itself? So what if it’ll lock me out of mobile Twitter for weeks on end? When it counts, like when I need my battery to last three days without a fresh charge, my Blackberry is there for me.

We might not like each other all the time, but we sure love each other. As Lilo and Stitch taught me in my childhood, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

And that includes even the most curmudgeonly Blackberry.

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