Sunday, 23 July 2006

Crackberry with no interest in a 12 step programme

I am one of those "crackberry" addicts. Now I must clearly define my use of the Blackberry to be completely recreational - only friends and family allowed. This does look like I am helpless though...

However, I really do use the B'Berry to keep in touch with the wider world out there; the hundreds of quilters online, friends, the bank, my sisters, my husband and those adult children that have moved on to lives of their own.

So when someone sees me - waiting in that long grocery store lineup, at the train crossing, at the dentist's office, while I am on hold on the telephone - scrolling and thumbing my way through emails they just do not appreciate how liberated I am feeling. Those minutes that were hijacked from me are now my own again. I claim them back as my opportunity for keeping in touch.

The telephone is a false friend. You usually connect to someone pretty quickly but I always wonder if I am interrupting my friend, usually when someone phones me I am busy doing "stuff" [that word again] and I want to get it done. I will not however tell someone that I am too busy to talk - mainly because that requires a value judgment that my activity is more important than my friend. Which is not true but I really suffer the struggle to separate myself from my list. (So many long telephone conversations have me tapping my toes and shaking my head - please release me, let me go, set me free)

...And when I call someone I imagine that they are actually busy doing their own "stuff". So I feel very guilty about interrupting them and controlling their time.

Perhaps it is because I never really did the "call my friends and chat on the phone for hours" thing (except for Peter, when we were 15, with whom I have fallen asleep only to wake up phone in hand and find him still there also on the other end - his parents had the basement phone taken out the very next week).

When I was growing up the phone was charged by the minute and my Dad put a lock on the dial so no one could make outgoing calls and run up the bill. Many people in our neighborhood could not afford a phone of their own so my Mom let others use it,so well the bills mounted, Dad freaked and decided to take control - "Parental Lockout" à la 1960's.

So the upshot is that I never developed a habit of calling anyone, and most friends did not have a phone anyway. I just went over to their house.

I was able to spend hours on the phone with my sweetheart because I could not bear to be apart from him - by this time we had moved to an area that had flat rate local calling so it did not really cost anyone any more dollars.

I still prefer to see someone face to face, have our cup of tea or coffee, have a real hug and be able to share our lives, tears and laughs one on one.

But that crackberry thing - it is like having ESP with everyone you want to communicate with. I send my thoughts to their email when I have the minutes to do so; they read my thoughts when they have the minutes to do so, then they respond with their thoughts as they find the time. I find a few minutes free, then I can read their thoughts, respond in kind. It all seems so civil and democratic. We all choose exactly when we want to "speak" or "hear". No interruptions while the spaghetti pot is ready boil over, or your honey is really wanting you to cuddle up, or you are cleaning up the mess the dogs pulled out of the garbage can or you are just getting to the complicated part of your project.

I have day long conversations with my sister, a sentence or 2 at a time (they live over 800 miles away), long discussions with my kids, I can quickly answer a question broadcast to my email groups,share a joke, make project plans, let the bank know that I want to change my mortgage payment, and even, yes, furious fast paced arguments with that honey of mine.

Not to discount that this is also where I mark all my appointments, phone numbers, lists, and other important information. Unlike many pieces of paper which I easily lose... If I can't find the Blackberry, it has a phone # so I can just call it, and when I answer the ring it is found again.

So if you really need to tell me something right now, the blackberry does have a phone #, just call me!!!

post script: my job 9-5 is tied to the phone anyway...............

1 comment :

  1. I don't have a Blackberry, but I do have a laptop that goes everywhere with me! Just ask DH, I've even fallen asleep with it next to me in bed. I feel the same way you do about phones. I'd much rather get emails than a phone call; but of course a friendly visit beats everything!

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