Recanting on the Blackberry


In April, I wrote about why I didn’t have a Blackberry and why I didn’t think I was going to get one. Well, now I have one and I can’t believe how wrong I was. In the last month or so, my daily email volume has tripled and the significance of time-sensitive responses increased just as much. And instead of tying me down, the bberry has freed me. I can work on the train, in the car, at lunch, wherever. When you’re waiting for someone, instead of sitting around you can read your RSS or get a jump on emails you hadn’t responded to yet. But most of all, it adds a level of professionalism that I lacked before. Multiple times now, I have been able to respond instantly to requests or questions that previously would have taken be hours to get to. The results are tangible too, people will let you know how much they appreciate your timely answer. Brainstorming is able to take place outside of a single room. I’m now more productive and more efficient.

But what I said before still stands. Get one because you NEED one, not because you want to seem like you need one. Trust me, it doesn’t say anything about you. There is not glory in carrying around a computer in your pocket. It’s no different than carrying around a calculator or a credit card–it’s a tool that if you need, is worth having. Unless you actually get a lot of email, why spend $500 on an iPhone? Trust me, it’s not that hard to remember dates or go an extra hour without responding. Unless you work online, what do you need to carry the internet around for? I know the Tim Ferriss opinion of them and he is right to some degree. It’s a line that once you’ve crossed, is difficult to ever undo. But if you do it for the right reasons you shouldn’t have a problem. For the love of God though, try not to be the person that says “Call my Blackberry/iPhone/PDA” instead of “Call my phone.”

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.