In 2012, Blackberry was on the brink of bankruptcy. You could buy 5 Blackberrys for the price of one iPhone 5. My trusty Blackberry flip phone was feeling the decline too. Software updates were no longer available, the battery barely held a charge, and reboot time took longer than waiting in line at Verizon.
It became clear that if my phone was in a classroom of smart phones, it was flunking.
For years, I used to say it loud, “I’m Blackberry and I’m proud.” While iPhoners were Facebooking, I was dropping my phone just to prove it wouldn’t break. We, the Blackberry people, were a tough bunch after all, killing our eyeballs from that microscopic keyboard, enduring the sneers from iPhone judgers. There’s no “i” in Blackberry for a reason. We had to stick together to survive the i-i-iPhone takover.
All business, no flash. That’s us. Let iPhoners immerse themselves in cute games, I’d reserve fun for something else. Run outside, laugh at magazines, write this story about iPhones vs Blackberries.
But around me, my Blackberry brethren were dying too. Stocks went from triple digits a share to less than ten bucks. And then, like the Gangnam Style dance, my beloved Blackberry died. At the time, I had just read Seth Godin’s The Dip, warning me when to quit a dying project. What I did next, probably made my old phone flip in its grave.
I bought an iPhone.
Maybe it was peer pressure, or the camera, or my urge to not be ridiculed for flipping open my old phone. And I didn’t just get an iPhone, I got a 5. I figured that by the time it would take me to upgrade again, Apple would probably be making an iTelepathy. Phones would no longer be for talking, and that extra inch of screen would really pay off watching Youtube.
Sure, the phone makes me faster. The GPS means I don’t waste time being lost because, as a man, I certainly won’t ask for directions. I’ve also become a multi-tasker: I pay bills from my toilet, email in the checkout line, check stocks while eating cereal.
Sometimes, though, it doesn’t make me faster. I may go to check the weather, see I have an email from Backcountry.com offering swim shorts which is appropriate since summer is here. I need sunglasses too, and since I’ll be outside, I’ll need sunblock too so I’ll check Amazon.com since they can ship it to my door easier than driving to get it. Wait, it’s free shipping if I order over $50? I’ll get shampoo, socks, and charcoal briskets. Oh, and don’t forget those sunglasses and shorts. All that shopping would be exhausting, so I’d need to do something fun like play Candy Crush, or check those FB pictures of my niece at the prom. Wait, why did I look at my phone? Oh yeah, the sunglasses, I mean, shorts, err, was it the weather…
No denying it. While the iPhone has made me faster at most things, it has also made me a professional time-waster. But with the right amount of self-discipline, it may not get the best of me. And if that doesn’t work, I’m sure there’s an app that can help.