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Swellboy on… forsaking his BlackBerry

Our man succumbs to an iPhone and finds himself wanting to buy it things

Swellboy on… forsaking his BlackBerry

Image: Brijesh Patel

February 01 2014
Nick Foulkes

I have finally done it, something I would never have thought I was capable of. I have abandoned my BlackBerry.

I remember that way back in the first decade of the current century it seemed like I had fallen in love. Here was a device that meant I would never be separated from my work; rather like Linus’s rag in the Snoopy cartoons, I carried it with me and at night, just as I was dozing off, it would chirrup to announce the arrival of some hugely important piece of junk mail that needed to be dealt with absolutely instantaneously, if not sooner. New parents who complain of sleep deprivation will be familiar with the feeling.

But gradually, almost imperceptibly, BlackBerry and I have grown apart. It is sad and I feel guilty – perhaps I could have done more. But in recent months there were three of us in the relationship: me, my BlackBerry and Microsoft Outlook 2013. Clearly, Outlook 2013 was jealous and every time I tried to bring Outlook and my ageing Blackberry Torch together my contacts would multiply with fecundity and philoprogenitiveness until I had almost 9,000 of them. It was to say the least inconvenient and, thinking about it, I could have called the Technopolis hotline and sought the advice of my colleague Jonathan Margolis. But, in my heart, I knew what he would say: namely, switch to an iPhone.

And, reluctantly at first, that is what I did, throwing myself in at the deep end with an iPhone 5s and a contract that seemed to stretch so far into the future that my children might end up inheriting it. Yes, I find the absent keyboard a pain. Yes, the battery needs topping up about as frequently as a Lamborghini being driven at speed through Europe. And I miss the BlackBerry data roaming package. But even I could not resist the ineluctable technological tide any longer. It is a dilemma that many people I know have recently faced and we are all finding the same thing: a more or less childlike delight at having a brilliant new toy. Just something as “simple” as having all one’s music on one’s telephone – a feature that I genuinely believed to be neither here nor there – has improved my life. It is not quite like finding God, but I do feel akin to a prodigal son for whom a moderately fatted nut roast has been slaughtered.

All in all, it is a little like getting a new pet. I want to cosset it and buy it things. I daresay that this infatuation will pass, but for the moment I am enjoying the novel sensation of finding more to like than loathe about a new piece of technology.