Monday, November 10, 2008

Do you really need to wear that BlackBerry on your belt? Really?

As anyone who's ever seen me leave the house for work in the morning can tell you, I'm no fashionista. All of my shirts match all of my pants (sort of; I think), so I can get dressed in the dark. And the whole pleated / flat front pants debate is utterly foreign to me. So for me to be aware of a fashion faux pas, it really has to be egregious. The BlackBerry-strapped-to-the-pants look that you’ll see on any city subway does rise to that level. BBs are so small, you can easily slip it into a pocket or toss it in a purse. So why would you leave it strapped on for everyone to see?

Is it a status thing? It could have been, circa 2002. Back then, having a BB might have meant that you were an early technology adapter, or at least that someone at your office thought you were important enough that they should spend a hundred bucks a month to be able to keep in touch with you. But now every middle manager has a BB. Scratch that, every assistant to a middle manager, or even every intern to the secretary of the assistant to every middle manager. Having a BB in the year 2008 says the world "I WORK IN AN OFFICE." Nice. That should sweep the ladies off their feet.

Maybe it's a utility thing? Easy access? Quick response? If you were a cowboy in the old west, there probably was a pretty good reason to keep your pistols holstered within lightning-fast drawing distance. An extra second fumbling around in your saddle bag looking for your six shooter really could be the difference between being the new sheriff in town and gettin' smoked. Same thing with a BB? Not likely. About 91% of all e-mail messages ever sent boil down to one of the following: 1) please resend me the message you sent before, which I know is somewhere in my in box, but which I can’t seem to find; 2) please send me some half-baked feedback on this even less-baked idea that we’ll have to have a phone call about anyway in the morning; or 3) please check out the two dozen new photos I just posted of my cat dressed up as a pumpkin. It’s possible that had you not needed to spend the extra five seconds digging your BB out of your pocket, you could have prevented a nuclear holocaust or ended a genocide. It’s just not likely.

I understand that this whole issue is not of exactly monumental importance. It will be a moot point soon enough when we all have e-mail / voicemail / text messaging chips inserted right into our heads. Then we won’t need any hardware at all. We’ll just think our thoughts, run a spell check and think “Send.” In the meantime, when you’re preparing for another day of battle in the financial jungle, take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself whether the ol’ digital tether really needs to hang out there for the whole world to see.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Katie and craig reporting onsite from our anniversary in new orleans...just witnessed oppressive father berating son. Wasn't sure if Dad was just being an ass or if the son was in fact as worthless as postulated. Until dad stood up unveiling not just a blackberry on the belt but a b/b cell combo and then we knew. Oh yes. From New Orleans Katie and Craig back to you in the studio, er, condo.