In a world full of emojis and app stores, it’s hard to remember a time when smart phones didn’t exist. I’d practically be living an Amish existence if I weren’t able to wake up at a reasonable hour, like 10:00am, and then lay amid a sea of pillows in my obnoxiously comfortable bed, stalking Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and e-mails on my phone until noon, when it’s time to finally get my shit together and try to be a productive member of society for the day. Can you imagine not having directions to wherever you’re driving in the palm of your hand? Really, though, what the hell did people do before built-in GPS existed? I know “GPS” is an automatic response, but I do recall a time, during the dark ages, when people used to PRINT directions from Mapquest and then bring said hard copies of navigation on a trip with them. After everyone’s first cell, which was inevitably a flip phone, a new era of smart phone was born. Two basic cellular communication devices were introduced: the T-Mobile sidekick and, of course, the BlackBerry. The former was some little hybrid of a flip phone and the primitive beginnings of a smart phone, and the latter was way underutilized, but everyone who was anyone had one anyway.
I think it’s important to pay homage to the most epic form of communication ever bestowed upon the world. Because it was so convenient, it was every
stalker sorority girl’s best friend. It carried with it an air of exclusivity, because it was the preliminary requirement for entrance into a secret club of BlackBerry users, and you needed a PIN to get in. That’s right, it’s time to remember my favorite form of texting ever: BBM’ing.
BlackBerry Messaging was actually beyond genius. It brought a whole new level of cellular communication. When you gave your pin to someone, you were basically giving them a piece of your soul. Was BBM’ing fundamentally any different from text messaging? I mean, basically no, except for the major luxury afforded to all the users: sent receipts. Everyone takes these little gems for granted these days, and nobody is willing to recognize their origins. I loved BBM’ing because the psycho in me was always able to tell whether it was time to freak out about being ignored, or keep calm and have another drink because he really hadn’t yet seen my hilarious, perfectly crafted message (which was generally either “Hey, I’m bringing friends to pregame,” or “Get more vodka”). I was completely relieved of the 2.5 minutes of anxiety that came from not knowing if he’d read what I’d written, and gone were the days of debating whether to send the dreaded double text.
In my opinion, my beloved BlackBerry Messaging was the precursor to all modern forms of communication. Not only did it provide us all with instant chat capability, but it gave each and every one of us psychos a reason to freak out, or chill out, depending on the time it took a guy to respond through time message viewed ratio.
I mean, maybe the BlackBerry’s keyboard is best suited for small children, considering the keys are 1/8950 of a centimeter apart. The trackball did have a tendency to mess up. (Who knew you weren’t supposed to submerge your phone in a pitcher of beer? Oops.) Perhaps the screen was impossible to navigate, and the jelly covers did nothing to protect it (even though they were the MOST fun to bedazzle on your own), but none of it matters. The BlackBerry, and BBM’ing were revolutionary.
As obsolete as it may be rendered in today’s day of iPhones, I think it’s important we all have a moment of silence today for the original smart phone. It gave us all the ability to see whether we were really crazy, or if our latest boyfriend was just an asshole.
PS, FB message me for my PIN.
- Image via favim.com