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The blacker the berry the bigger the fool

Brad Blomstrom | Tuesday, March 17, 2009

For the first 15 years of my life, I wandered aimlessly through an analog wasteland, losing hope after generation upon generation of mobile phones failed to plug me into the so-called “Information Superhighway.” Sure, I found phones that could make crystal clear calls and wouldn’t shatter when I dropped them. I wasn’t forced to hoard quarters and find pay phones in order to get in touch with someone when I wasn’t home. Nonetheless, every text message I tapped out in T9 caused a feeling of hollowness to grow within me. Something was missing from my cell phone, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Little did I know that “it” was a little, white trackball.

When the BlackBerry arrived in 2002, I soon realized that it represented the final link between the human and the Divine. I am convinced that if Michelangelo were alive and painting today, Adam’s outstretched hand on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel would feature three fingers tightly wrapped around this wondrous device. At long last, I feel truly connected to the world around me. In my pre-BlackBerry life (or what I like to refer to as the “Dark Ages”), I had to log on to a computer to check my e-mail. Eww. How 1990s is that?

Never mind that Research in Motion created the BlackBerry for traveling business people; I clearly need one. I am a college student, and that means that I receive extremely important emails that require action A.S.A.P. (Did you know that this Friday is Salsa Funk Nightclub Night at Legends, btw? No, you didn’t. You don’t get Notre Dame Gmail on your pathetic Motorola).

Furthermore, my Facebooking has improved exponentially since I got my BlackBerry. I give status updates in real-time now (Currently: “The Daft Punk is venting his disdain for inferior people with inferior phones”). I’ve cut my average wall-to-wall response time down to 3.7 minutes, and I now adhere to a strict R.S.V.P. policy for all event and group invitations. Side note – you’re welcome, “Need Numbers: Lost My Phone While Drunk” groups. Without me, you’d have zero responses. Maybe next time you’ll think about getting a real phone instead. But I digress.

Thank God I have my BlackBerry. Otherwise, I’d be forced into second class citizenship and would be excluded from the conversations of Notre Dame’s power elite. To offer you a concrete example from my semester abroad in London, take a conversation I held with my girlfriend at the time and two other people (N.B. The Daft Punk has made up a lot of stories in his day, but this one is pretty much the truth). Three of the four people in the room had BlackBerries. I, unfortunately, had left mine in the States because I didn’t think the BlackBerry culture had taken over London yet. In less than five minutes the three cool people in the room were BBM-ing (BlackBerry Messaging, for the ignorant layperson) instead of talking, while I just sat there and contemplated my miserable existence. I knew I was outclassed, and I cried myself to sleep for the rest of my time on that horrible island.

To be honest, the best part about my BlackBerry is that it has made me a better man. It’s taught me how to communicate in ways I’d never dreamed possible, and has taught me which people to eliminate from my social circles. In a moment of weakness, I started dating a girl who didn’t have a BlackBerry. Although we got along well and she was a wonderful person in many respects, after a few weeks it became obvious that things just weren’t working out. She kept asking stupid questions like, “What is BrickBreaker?” and “How do you even use that keyboard?” I didn’t say anything about it at the time, (The Daft Punk has some class, mind you), but I wanted to scream at her: “I have a BlackBerry, which means my time is valuable! Do you think I really have the luxury of wasting precious seconds and oxygen answering inane questions like those? Go call your mom with your Razr and check your e-mail using America Online.” You better believe that relationship didn’t last. Social Darwinism got a bad rap in the 1800s but it really came through in the clutch for me there.

Listen, I’d love to stay and chat, but … wait, who am I kidding? You could tell I was done with this conversation two minutes ago when I quit listening to you and started scrolling through the message boards on my favorite Web site, CrackBerry.com. For a glimpse of my awesomeness, search the website to see how I was willing to be hit with 100 paintballs on my bare chest in order to get a BlackBerry Storm. Shoot me a BBM sometime and maybe we’ll discuss it. Until then, enjoy the SMS world. Loser.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T.

Brad Blomstrom is a senior majoring in Finance & Economics. He is

currently wandering the analog

wasteland but is excited to join the BlackBourgeoisie this summer. He can be contacted at bblomstr@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not

necessarily those of The Observer.