The verdict on Blackberry: Technology at its best or society’s biggest threat?

The Blackberry (also known as Crackberry to those who’ve been chastised for using them in public) is one of the most popular mobile phones of the decade. It’s stylish design and extras such as Facebook, Twitter, constant Internet access and, of course, Blackberry Messaging (BBM for those in the know) have made it a hit with teenagers and beyond. So why is it that Blackberry owners are often scalded by family and friends for picking up their phone in another person’s presence? Perhaps because we have now become so dependant on them that we find it hard to sit through a family meal or even a night out with friends without checking who’s just updated their relationship status on Facebook.

Of course, we all know that Blackberry’s can make our lives easier, allowing us to check our emails, social networking profiles and Google all on the go. They also help us keep in touch with our friends and the notifications option alerts you to any activity you’ve received online, even when you’re not active on your profile. They also look great, and this is not to be underestimated. The sleek design and large, wide screen are fashionable but also let you see the screen better. In fact, the option to change the font you see and write in and the size of this font is a fantastic option which helps it appeal to more than just teenagers (this comes from personal experience as my mum recently used a  Blackberry for the first time and loved this feature).

Blackberry addiction

It’s also the little things on a Blackberry that make them worthwhile; the addition of Facebook means that you can take any photo off your profile and use it as a screen-saver or background on your phone, or even as your BBM profile picture. Of course, for some people this seems far too much to keep up with, and maybe even distracts you from the real world and the real people around you.

This is true, after all, how many times have you been ignored by someone you’re in the middle of a conversation with because they got a Facebook notification or a BBM alert? It’s incredibly frustrating, and even insulting. Most people who own a Blackberry are also likely to tell you that not only are they really liking it, but they’re addicted to it. They now check their Facebook and Twitter accounts four times before lunch and tell everyone what their highest score on Word Mole is. The thing about Blackberry’s is there is always something to do. Whether you’re surfing the Internet or messaging a friend, even the longest train journeys can suddenly become hectic.

It’s no surprise then, that our family and friends who we leave in the dark ages with their non-smart-phones, hate your new obsession. It becomes the bane of a couple’s life and ruin’s relationships between teenagers and parents. Or is this a bit harsh? Should we really be able to control ourselves around new technology such as the Blackberry? After all, it’s not just teenagers and young adults who are to blame for the new Crackberry addiction sweeping the nation. Although everyone believes the Blackberry could only possibly be suitable for 15-20 something’s (as I was recently told in a high street mobile phone shop) because of its social networking and keyboard style buttons that clearly require the tiny fingers of a young adult; it is actually becoming the phone of choice for many older adults and even parents (believe it or not). It is now, unfortunately, more and more common to see parents wandering around glued to their Blackberry as their children run aimlessly after them.

It seems then, that there is simply no escaping the Blackberry. Many people believe that we should continue to value conversation and face-to-face more than any interaction with a screen, or is this simply too old-fashioned for those already in the grip of Crackberry?

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