Welcome to Planet Blackberry
So I guess this proves I’m a sucker for the most cliché politician type of phone, the Blackberry. My initial thoughts have been pretty positive and its certainly a different league from my old handset.
What I’m left with is something even smaller than the first generation blackberry which for some mysterious reason inhabits a space in my desk draw. It certainly feels more serious thab many of the devices friends have, and the whole setup is very much geared to doing ‘work’.
Quite how this became ‘the whitehall phone’ I have no idea. If anything, the geekish aspects are pretty hard to hide, especially given its clear intention that one write in long hand.
I recently heard the iphone 4 called a great computer and a terrible phone. This thing doesn’t feel like either, but then neither do I feel like I’m trying to write an essay on a games console like some portable devices. More a device in a category of its own, probably because of the focus on email as a form of mobile communication.
Aside from a problem connecting to my google calendar, my only concern has nothing to do with the technology, but rather the non-stop and indivisible nature of the communications. Sure I’ve spoken to my sister an amazing 3 times since yesterday, but I’ve failed utterly to keep today as a day of rest as planned.
I know some have taken to a switch off day each week, and I can see the attraction. I wasn’t even sure last night how to prevent the device from waking me every two minutes. Thankfully I managed that feat, but time will tell whether I take to working in bed on it instead of getting on with life.
Now seems a good time to get on the blackberry bandwagon, having been a slight latecomer to mobiles (2004/5) and a very early arrival on twitter (2007, inside the first year). I can never tell if I’m an ‘early adopter’ or not, such is my inconsistency. This is also the year in which activists’ in the UK began to create useful apps for protests, and in january I found myself trying to correct the direction of a section of march containing almost 500 with only iphone’s too provide maps. Worryingly, several were using completely inaccurate data.
But the fact is, a device in your pocket will never replace the act of going out and speaking to fresh people or marching, and it could offer little to know safety for the activists that use it. I find it worrying how many people say ‘they’ll never do that here’ when Egyptian style network shutdowns are discussed. Its definitely a brave new world this connectedness thing.