As a young person with a BlackBerry, sometimes I get lonely.
I first felt the loneliness in the winter of 2010, when I would get together with my regular crew of early twentysomethings in a dive bar or a beer-glazed living room. It was the first true winter of the iPhone, and where once, in the heyday of our youth, we would spend our time socializing meaningfully, looking deeply into each other’s eyes as we discussed world issues, now everyone seemed to be transfixed by their cool new phones, and specifically, by“apps”. Charlie had an app which helped him build a bookshelf, Chad had an app to help him run five kilometres, Lucy had an app which was just a bunch of photos of fit girls’ bottoms and they all had Angry Birds. “What apps do you have?” they asked me.
“I have no apps,” I said, the shame welling up inside me. “I only have a competent phone, which keeps me reliably connected to friends, family and school.”
“Oh,” my friends said sadly, “you’ve still got a BlackBerry.” Then they turned back to their individual apps, and I sent myself a calendar reminder not to let them see me cry.
Three years later, I am still slogging through life with only a BlackBerry. I’ve thought about switching to something newer, sleeker–something with a big screen where I can play Draw Something, but I’ve never made the leap. I’m an old soul, I guess. I don’t want any of this touch screen nonsense; those keyboards just make me stress out about accuracy and finger pressure. Give me a physical keyboard with letters and numbers I can actually click on. In only a few years together, I feel like my BlackBerry knows me, my weaknesses and my needs. I knows that a little red light makes a text message seem important. It knows that Brickbreaker is the most complicated video game I’ll ever be able to play. It knows that a phone camera should only render good pictures in the safety of daylight.
This new BlackBerry phone, this Z10 business, which we’ve been hearing so much about, apparently has all the features and qualities that one would expect in a high-quality android or iPhone, but I have to ask the company one thing: Why? Why did you choose to be more like them?
Sure, BlackBerry might have been “losing customers”. Okay, so they weren’t “turning a profit” and their stock was “plummeting at an alarming rate.” But at least they were different. They were sticking with what made them great, and while this new model may “turn the company around” and “save them from the brink of destruction,” I, for one, am a little disappointed.
Make me a phone that’s just a little less sleek, and a little less fun, BlackBerry. Until then, I’ll be sitting in my rocking chair, reminiscing about the good ol’ days with my 9900.