Image: Brijesh Patel
June 19 2011
I never thought I would say this, but I am beginning to loathe my Blackberry. It is not the concept of being perpetually available, the dread klang of incoming emails or the ubiquitous old-style telephone ring that everyone over 40 uses. It is more the model. I have the touch-screen sliding one, the Torch. Until now, the names have been suspiciously conceptual: Curve, Storm, Pearl, Bold, etc, but the devices themselves have tended to be pretty functional. The Torch, I fear, is over-functional, and is probably more powerful than the computers that looked like reel-to-reel tape recorders and were used to put man on the moon.
I think I must have jumped a generation of Blackberry and gone straight from the trackball, which kept getting stuck, to the all-new, superslick Torch and it has proved a gadget too far. I should have called the omniscient gizmologist Mr Margolis because I don’t think I realised that a touch screen is, well, sensitive to touch. Thus, I frequently and involuntarily switch languages, and when using predictive text, find that I am often emailing people in Greek, Arabic, Anglo Saxon, Old Norse, Sanskrit or any one of a veritable Babel of lingos supported by the RIM Corporation. Amusing though this may be, I am less than tickled by the tendency of my phone to switch itself off for hours at a time or the capriciousness with which it will attempt to check the Facebook page that I do not have.
So far the only useful attribute of the Torch is its capacity to access Top of the Pops from 1976 and enjoy Paul Nicholas performing the deathless Reggae Like it Used to Be; except not perhaps as Bob Marley might have recalled it.
Anyway, the worst part of my powerlessness over my Blackberry is my inability to return to a simpler model. I just cannot explain it, beyond saying that, having experienced the future in all its touch-screen, polyglot confusion, I cannot, I will not go back. I feel that to do so would be a betrayal of the eternal truth upon which our civilisation is built, namely that the latest technology is the best technology.