They were everywhere. I saw them in banks, in cars, walking down the street, in meetings, at Starbucks, in elevators, at lunch, in bars, at conferences and at work. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers: First, I noticed a few of them acting curiously. Before I knew it, the world had been overrun with shells of former people thumbing furiously at their BlackBerrys.
Although PR requires you to stay up to date, I never felt at a disadvantage. I did my job; I worked hard and excelled; but at the end of the day, I was able to disengage from work and put my personal life in a non-contiguous compartment. Initially, I was put off by these mindless creatures, this cultish Blackberrati (As you can see from today’s feature story in The New York Times, I’m not the only one: http://bit.ly/n8oTP). They were slaves to their electronic extensions, unable to extricate themselves from the ever expanding web of digital communication. I felt sorry for them. Then, I got one.
As part of my employment package at Feintuch Communications, I was supplied with a new BlackBerry (I opted for the Bold). In a matter of days I went from mild curiosity to rabid support, likely to sacrifice non-immediate family members if it were necessary to save my 9000, my preciousss.
This weekend, I was swallowed up by a vortex of texting, BlackBerry Messenger and App World. I lost track of time, like a Native American on a Peyote-induced vision quest, only to emerge on Sunday, realizing that I was texting, BBMing, Gchatting and emailing a childhood friend of mine all at the same time in order to work out the logistics of meeting up for lunch. When I realized what I was doing, I closed all my applications and, with the unsteady hand of withdrawal, called my friend up. We settled on a place in ten seconds tops.
My body is snatched. I already feel it. I am one of them. I am part of the Blackberrati. But while I already see the enormous potential this device has to support my professional development, I will do my best to remember that sometimes you need to pick up the phone to get the job done.