Save the BlackBerry: Any Chance?

I’m not much of an early adopter. For instance, I was one of the last to proudly sport a Nehru jacket. But I’ve had a BlackBerry now for five years or so, and I like it just fine. I’m not sure I need or want a phone that is smarter than me.

Yesterday was a day even more peaceful than most. It appears that the service for the BlackBerry went kaput, leaving users like me around the world free from e-mail, text messages and the flood of product ads and customer surveys that are every bit as intrusive and annoying as the asshat telemarketers who call on the generally mute landline during happy hour.

A question: If you can no longer let friends, strangers and other miscreants know where you are every minute of every day via Foursquare, do you still exist? I digress.

Anyway, I discovered yesterday via Twitter and various members of the online Chattering Class that anyone who still used a BlackBerry was, well, kind of uncool, to be generous about it. And wow. Were they still making and selling the BlackBerry? Who would have thunk it?

Here’s from Alexandra Petri opining in WaPo, “Dear BlackBerry, about that outage…“:

The worst part of this BlackBerry outage is that it’s forced me to admit I have a BlackBerry.

RIM’s once cherished handheld is going the way of the dodo, in the sense that it would embarrass you if your friends discovered you were carrying a dodo in your back pocket.

It’s fallen into the Shame Zone of bygone technology. Show up to work with underwear on the outside of your pants? You might be a superhero. Toilet paper trailing off your shoe? Maybe you were dressed as a mummy earlier. But admit to having a BlackBerry and everyone shrinks from you as though you’ve just admitted you have leprosy — or a MySpace presence. “You’re one of those people who doesn’t understand technology anymore,” they say, shuddering. It’s the horrible, creeping modern affliction — far worse than death. Death is something Steve Jobs has, so it must be all right. (Too soon?)

On Twitter, people are already hunting for other uses for the BlackBerry. I hear it makes a terrible flowerpot. If you throw it at someone, it will momentarily stun him but cause no lasting harm. It’s about the right heft for first-time jugglers.

But, BlackBerry, is this really how it ends? For years, we endured the tirades of our iPhone-equipped friends. “Uh, the e-mail server is secure,” we said. “Arianna Huffington has one. And I really like the keyboard! My fingers were not designed for the iPhone! Whenever I type on an iPhone it autocorrects to ‘sensual gaspacho’ and makes my boss look askance.”

We bought the latest phones, even though you insisted on naming them after stone-age technology like the Torch. And now you punish us for our loyalty?

BlackBerry, for the past two years, my life has consisted of a constant, feverish effort to hide the fact that I still carry your Jobs-forsaken device.

Well, let me add some pithy commentary.

Ah, wait a minute. Gotta go. My BlackBerry is working again and I have a new e-mail message.

Looks like a customer survey involving Nehru jackets.





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