The iBerry Girl: Admitting the Truth

In I am... on July 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

It’s a question that makes me feel uncomfortable– the Blackberry or the iPhone? I grit my teeth and smile sheepishly when people ask the girl with both handsets, which of the two I would recommend. Never before has there been such a difficult question to answer. Once the king of the road, Nokia now trails behind with Michael Schumacher and somewhere, Andre Agassi still uses a Motorola. More than a year may have passed since I have made the acquaintance of anyone that isn’t packing an iPhone or a Blackberry. The option we choose says something about our personality and the sense of divide between two people meeting from different phone cultures is astonishingly present. Before owning an iPhone, I was a Nokia to Blackberry convert. My ex had an iPhone. Naturally, it didn’t work out.
The fact is, until now I have evaded the truth. In my shoulder bag, I carry an iPhone 3G and in my hand, I still hold a Blackberry curve. But I do a lot of things that aren’t good for me.
Rather than list the pros and cons of each handset, let me just be perfectly honest right off the bat. I can lie to myself but I can’t lie to you. Without waffling or making excuses, with my hand on my heart, I’ll admit that the iPhone is the better phone, both morally and technically. Why? Because the Blackberry only has one thing going for it– Blackberry Messenger (BBM), the one ingredient that turns perfectly innocent people into ‘crackberrys’. I cannot come up with any other logical explanation for the dominant Blackberry market share of the modern generation– and yes, it’s a pretty pathetic explanation.
Come that time of the year when the unsuspecting victim due for an upgrade stands at the counter of Carphone Warehouse and chooses a Blackberry, little do they know what kind of a new resolution they are setting themselves. It starts innocently enough, choosing a BBM contact name, excited at the prospect of free chat via the push technology (internet based communication). Several months later, the crackberry symptoms begin to kick in. At dinner, eyes glaze over mid conversation when the infamous messenger alert sounds and the red light begins to flash, calling the crackberry to cut off the real life conversation in front of them and attend to another conversation going on in their phone. The temptation to pick up the blackberry causes attention to blatantly dart back and forth and in some extreme cases, you may witness drops of sweat forming on their brow.
Text messaging never used to make people do this because it never had the element of live chat. There is a distinct sense of urgency with Blackberry users to answer their BBM conversations, knowing that the person on the other end expects an instantaneous response. If they didn’t, they would have sent an email or a Facebook message. If you send a text message to a Blackberry user, you could wait several hours, if not days for a response. There is no pressure to respond to you because you aren’t on their network, but send them a BBM and suddenly, you’re in their social stratosphere. Don’t expect a phone call either. BBM users eventually graduate to a stage where they would rather type messages of affection to their loved ones than hear their voices.
Let’s face it, it’s incredibly rude. When I was once a faithful Nokia consumer, content with standard mobile phone technology, I remember being highly offended by Blackberry users. One friend in particular became so tactless with her social behaviour that I could no longer converse with her if we met for a coffee or lunch. I’m not sure if she was aware, but I was genuinely hurt by the lack of friendship she demonstrated when interrupting me to answer her Blackberry. Despite being a Blackberry user myself now, our friendship has sadly trailed off.
As with other addictive things in life, there are some people that can dabble and some that will fall victim. I’ve had some hairy moments with my Blackberry when I’ve been furiously typing away in a live chat and suddenly realise my father across the dinner table with one eyebrow raised. Fortunately, I was raised well enough and I can confidently say that although the device is never more than a metre out of reach, I’m well aware that I should be putting the people I care about in front of me, first. Credit to the Blackberry, it’s the one invention that has managed to keep me in touch with everyone, home and abroad. It is without a doubt, love it or hate, the most prominent social tool of the twentieth century, but one word of advice– don’t let your cyber life overtake your social life.

So there we have it. The one feature that lures in the majority of the mobile phone consumer market is an addictive and seductive tool, recommended only for those with strong will power. Nevertheless, they’re missing out on one very obvious thing– the iPhone.
This technological gem actually encourages social interaction and acts as a tool to share stories, memories and accomplishments with peers around you. It brings out your talents and creativity as an individual. Simply superior in any situation whether you’re lost in a dodgy neighbourhood or lost for restaurant ideas, desperate to check the status of your eBay auction within ten seconds flat on the internet or being asked to play some music on the beach, the iPhone, is the best toy on the market.
As I said, I’m not going to talk about the technological pros and cons, I’m simply going to recommend the phone that’s better for your health, the phone that makes you a better person. Fortunate enough to be able to sample both handsets, I’ll admittedly continue to indulge in the best of both worlds. The sensible, less frivolous person (with less baggage space) would choose the iPhone over the Blackberry any day. I’m just hoping that one day, I’ll walk into a mobile phone shop and be able to purchase an iBerry– right around the same time when you’ll notice pigs flying above your head.


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