August 1, 2009 10:36:00 PM
I just got a Blackberry.
Some of you -- that''s folks living the good life -- may be wondering whether or not I picked it myself or bought it at the Hitching Lot Farmers'' Market.
It''s not your run-of-the-mill organically grown, pesticide-free, jam-making variety; this is a jazzed up cell phone -- a smartphone.
Here goes my take on a smartphone, after applying a little "wordsmithing" to a definition I found on an Internet site.
A smartphone is a wireless telecom device that in addition to making and receiving calls, has a complement of features like those found on a personal digital assistant (PDA) or personal computer. In the workplace, a smartphone''s ability to send and receive e-mail, plus edit word documents and spreadsheets, increases productivity. (Sometimes I amaze myself.)
How they came up with the name Blackberry, I''ll never know.
I remember the first time I heard about one. It was on Don Imus'' MSNBC Morning Show just after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Imus made mention that he was getting one. He reported that the Blackberry was one of the few communication tools that worked on that terrible day.
I''m not a leading-edge kind of guy. In fact, I have found myself snickering at those constantly checking to see who''s caught up to them. For the last two years or so I fought the hard fight, retaining my maverick status to resist being tethered to the world. There''s no tree to hide behind now. They got me.
I''ll have to admit that from this day forward I will be much more responsive to my clients. Sometimes I wonder how we coped with not having immediate information at our -- in this case -- thumb tips, the appendages of choice for typing on one of these things.
A little privacy, please
They''re not cheap. Business folks like me have to have them. Kids, on the other hand (and some mamas and dads), use them as a social tool. Thirty-five cent three-minute, loving phone calls placed from the pay phone in the parking lot of the Y Kitchen in Rolling Fork to a Delta lassie in Belzoni are gone forever.
Today, it''s MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. I''m easy enough to find in the flesh, not to mention the fact that somebody could make about three phone calls and know my life''s story -- yours, too. Be darned if I''m going to make it easier on them with one of these social networking sites.
The other day a friend of mine urged me to sign up for Facebook, where I could reconnect with old acquaintances from all over. My friend allowed, "You''ll be amazed at who turns up."
That''s what scares me.
And then, there''s Twitter. Please don''t think ill of me, but I don''t care what my brethren are doing minute by minute during the day, nor do I think that any of my activities (other than the ones I wouldn''t want my preacher finding out about) would interest anyone.
The new world
Smartphones have changed our language and the way we think. Now, rather than asking, "Where did I leave my cell (or phone)?" it''s, "Where did I leave my Blackberry?"
These days, when it comes to bars, rarely do I think of "dim lights, thick smoke and loud, loud music."
And finally, when did "text" become a verb?
Roger owns Bayou Management, Inc. and is also a semi-pro guitar player.
pr commented at 8/5/2009 1:42:00 PM:
I have fallen in the Blackberry trap myself - after years of complaining that I couldn't remember what my children looked like because I only see the top of their heads while they look down at their phones. Gone are the days of being completely out of touch and on your own. Gone are the days of entertaining yourself. Gone are the days of true solitude. Believe it or not - we actually pay (dearly) for the privledge of being constantly "on call".
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