Blackberry – my technology line in the sand

I feel like Don Quixote from Man of La Mancha – tilting at windmills.  And I know, that sooner or later, the windmill will win (for those of you who never read the play – hint – it does not end so well for Don.)

But for now, I have drawn this technology line in the sand and have not procured the requisite Blackberry. My reasons for resisting this technology are numerous despite the clear and compelling benefits:

  • I am not that important that I need to be reached within 20 seconds. As it is, I check email with a frequency that is akin to an addiction anyway. If there is a real emergency, then my ever ready cell phone is my safety net.
  • It seems that a Blackberry seems to give permission for people to be rude, as in, “I am so important that instead of listening to you in this meeting, I will check to my Blackberry to see if someone more important than you have contacted me”.  I dunno – it seems the self grandiose nature of this is rather irksome.
  • You can not give good direction to a team using a Blackberry. The best you can use a Blackberry for is a; “yes”, “no”, “I don’t know” or I will get back to you later” type of answers – nothing more. It makes me crazy when I see junior managers trying to tap out a cohesive and meaningful set of directions using Blackberry. Please, please stop it. It does not work, but I see the seduction of it. With our trusted Blackberry you can answer quickly and you can mark that item off your “to do” list. It may be efficient for you – but I can guarantee you that your team probably has no idea what you wanted.
  • Finally, as it is, too much of my day is spent fielding people trying to reach me. I resist being that in contact with everyone for so much of my day. ‘Nuf said.

So there you have it. My list of why I won’t get a Blackberry. I say this with some irony, since some of the reasons I gave above were not dissimilar to the reasons I may have given about 10 years ago when I resisted getting a cell phone. Obviously, that line in the sand was crossed within months and I suspect this one will be too.

While I don’t know how long this line in the sand will hold (and I am unfortunately not optimistic), I intend to hold the line as valiantly as Don Quixote. A quote in the play comes to mind and seems pertinent; “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all – -to see life as it is and not as it should be.” I know Blackberry makes total sense … but I choose “madness”. At least for now.

Judy Shapiro


5 Responses

  1. I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent!

  2. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  3. funny – I hope you tell us when the windmill wins.

  4. Judy — very insightful.

    I think the key is in pointing out to the younger managers what they are NOT accomplishing by doing this. Activity does not equal productivity.

  5. Favorite line…

    “I am so important that instead of listening to you in this meeting, I will check to my Blackberry to see if someone more important than you have contacted me”.

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