My BlackBerry has officially experienced a meltdown. I managed to abuse it so much over the last six months that the thing just went completely haywire. Of course, it malfunctioned during the worst possible time ? just when I was coordinating a huge red carpet event with several big name celebrities and producers who kept firing off emails to me about their flights and hotels but all I could do was frantically press buttons that were malfunctioning like R2D2 in the first Star Wars movie.
To be completely candid, I feel like an addict who is suffering from withdrawal. That red light is flashing incessantly, almost mocking me to grab it and try to access my messages. And so I give it a whirl, and the thing starts having a mind of its own ? picking websites I don?t want to visit or attempting to send messages to people I don?t need to reach or want to contact at all. I can?t imagine what I could have done to break the damn thing. It?s still fairly new, but since the time I brought it home, I?ve used it to access my work email plus three personal email accounts, websites, directions, the occasional phone call ? heck if it could dispense money, I?d be plugging in my ATM password too.
I never realized that this addiction to technology would become so destructive. While on business these last few days, I?d sit at a lunch or a dinner while those with working BlackBerries typed away effortlessly, their thumbs gliding across the keys, out of touch with the world around them because they were too preoccupied sending a message to someone who was several thousand miles away.
My husband always gets annoyed with me when I?m trying to return a quick message while I?m out at dinner with him and the kids. I never really understood what the issue was until I was kicked out of the BlackBerry clique this week. As I stared longingly at that red flashing light, I began to discover that legions of PDA users are completely detached and distracted from the real world. As a multi-tasker, I never thought that my BlackBerry use was detracting from my life, but you know what, it is.
I?ve been known to cross city streets while responding to an email and narrowly escaped injury from a bike messenger who swerved to avoid knocking me over. While in my car, I?ve glanced over at the red light and have been tempted to access my emails while waiting at a stop light, and I?ve even noticed the message waiting indicator in the middle of the night while I was charging my PDA and I?ve contemplated reaching for it at 3 in the morning just to see who was trying to get in touch with me.
Here?s the deal though ? I am not a brain surgeon. Or a lawyer, or an accountant, or a police detective for that matter. I am a publicist ? who is always connected to her office and a demanding legion of people who sometimes work my last nerve ? especially when I?m coordinating a massive press trip for several actors and actresses and am attempting to travel all of them to a city and they keep changing their minds about their flights. In that situation, my BlackBerry is a necessary appendage, so when it started having its own technological meltdown this week, I started losing it too. Thankfully, I managed to get everyone what they needed?even without the help of my BlackBerry?imagine that?
Now that I?m finally back home and about to enjoy the official start of summer, I?m still in possession of my broken BlackBerry and haven?t done a thing about it. Why, do you ask? Well, I?m actually contemplating taking a break from it and quitting my addiction?at least for a short while. No more message returning while dining with my family, bike riding (which is kind of difficult to do when you?re trying to steer without hands) or out and about running errands. So let?s all take a break from the insanity. It?s time to kick back and enjoy the summer and perhaps, instead of sending messages from a BlackBerry, maybe I?ll go out and pick some with my kids.
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