The Curse of BBM

CrackBerry - BBM BlackBerry Addiction South AfricaBBM users claims it revolutionised the way they communicate and stay in touch constantly. MXit users have known this for a few years longer. However, BlackBerry started out focusing on business users, corporate customers before becoming a quasi-status symbol for with numerous celebrities seen in public with their BlackBerry phones. This has created a false sense of superiority for them.

BlackBerry uses is a private network separate from the mobile Internet. This has allows them to offer unique services like the push feature for email to the devices and also the always-on BBM instant messaging service globally. The universal Inbox is a dream come true for long-term users of email and messages services. In most other devices you have to check multiply applications on your handset to get your messages. Your email is separate from your chat programs like Whatsapp or MXit.

In scientific studies there is growing consensus that multitasking leads to more errors among middle age people, as well as younger people. They have found it leads to partial continuous attention and this behaviour results in tasks taking longer to complete, more postponement and a misguided sense of efficient. Dr Gary Small is one of the leading neuroscientists actively looking at this radical behaviour shifts taking place due to new technology and always-on Internet.

So the recent problems experienced by Research In Motion globally has shows the strength of this mobile provider is also its Achilles Heel. The fact that your email and browsing goes via their private network, not the Internet itself like most other service providers creates a dependency, which was exposed as a weakness. This is a reminder the Internet was designed to be open not closed. The unlimited free Internet in South Africa is no longer a big deal with the cost of mobile broadband coming down as new players continue to innovate in their offerings. Cell C now offers free data + SMS every time your recharge. Telkom’s 8Ta has an offering of 10GB for only R199 per month, the ideal option for iPads or iPhone type devices.


Author: RJ Thomas

RJ Thomas is an International Relationship Builder. He was born in South Africa, and moved to China in 2013.

  • As an early UNADOPTER of cellphone technology and gloriously free of that irritant I am happy to report that RIM’s problems did not affect me:

    Blackberry and Cellphone User Additional Grey Hairs: 1000 vs My Additional Grey Hairs: 0

    Now after you have picked your jaw up off of the floor ask yourself THREE questions:
    1. In the abscence of cellphone technology HOW did I get here FIRST?
    2. How many lives have you saved with your cellphone?
    3. Did you really land that Million Rand deal because you have a cellphone?

    Thought NOT.

    • Alan you humour makes me think you were friends with Oscar Wilde in a past life.

  • Dirk

    I think BBM is Highly overrated and more a symbolic ‘smartphone’ compared to the latest technology by Google Android Devices. Once word of mouth catch on about the freedoms Android bring and that it is cheaper than BBM and Iphone I foresee a huge shift away from those platforms

  • BB or no BB, people have become so reliant on cell phones that some become disconnected from reality. All I see these days are slumped S-shaped youths with their faces berried in their cell phones because they are verbally incapable of communication with another human being.

    In my opinion this whole BBM thing is making it worse, yes I understand it’s cheaper, but look what happened when the RIM service went down…some people went all “bos”

  • What’s been happening to BBM seems to just build a strong case for more “open” software.
    BMM relies waaay too much on RIM.

  • Michael Thompson

    Blackberry is totally over rated. I purchased a 9300 and can kick myself. I have reverted to using my old Nokia. Wish I could change my BBM for something else.

    • Place your Blackberry in the Swap column of the Junk Mail, its a good idea

  • JD

    Fair enough..

    Have to admit Im a HUGE BBM fan, just cause its cool (or used to be…)

    But I still cant think that we are missing the point that it was an introduction to a concept as opposed to a final solution – makes sense, mostly (however, I am still a little tipsy – Wicked night!)

    Being able to access what we want when we want it is going to be a huge learning curve once we no longer using the traditional input devices, mice , trackball, keyboard etc… I really cant wait for the “Sixth sense” tech to become more widely used, only voice commands and iconic gestures… Gonna really send our elders into a spin, for what BBM was, I was a proud BB user, but still cant wait for the ‘good stuff’ to come 🙂

    reference: Sixth sense – TED –

  • I don’t think that I should spend much effort discussing Blackberry itself, The writing was on the wall for RIM as it was for Nokia when the mobile market was reinvented by iPhone – which still dominates the smart phone market, although I know that android based devices from a range of manufacturers have taken the slack at the cheaper end of the market.

    This article is really about the effects of the always on world on people, The best bit of writing I have seen on this are those by Dan Tapscott in both growing up digital and grown up digital.

    He points out that people have just adapted and that those exposed a lot to technology have become extremely good at multitasking.

  • lauren p

    oh well as pld lady who just got into bbm it great way of getting to know people who are in n s a fun and i hate sms so now i got this voice bbm i can say what i want to. and make it worth while for other person, but it great to keep family on there feet
    pinging it super

  • Blackberry is nothing as exciting as the Mugg and Beans Blueberry muffin, thats real BBM to me,… so if you are addicted to getting your eyes messed up in the next few years, sit forward with your cellphone and stare at it while ignoring your friends who are talking to you and that will guarantee you to be a fat slob in the next few years, seriously now what has technology done to some of us besides made us dumber, slower, poorer communicators and unsociable people. Now when we think of before 1994 we had no means of communication than a landline. Dont get me wrong, I have at least 3 phones with me at any given time. But its like alcohol, do we always have to have it in our hands, do we have withdrawal symptoms when its offline. I have been warning my friends for several months in South Africa about the poor service they are getting from Blackberry. Check out the service centres and get feedback. Why do I need to be online all the time, why do my friends have to demand my time when I am busy with something else or busy relaxing, cant they wait as in the old days? Does this mean when you don’t get an answer right away that the person is ignoring you or does it mean I need to wait just like any other. Modern age has made us bigger addicts than ever, how do we find the balance?

  • Lauren-Rose

    I think it’s a good thing that BB is putting a bit of pressure on our networks. For too long they have not actually had competition and they robbed us blind and we thought it’s a bargain. This puts some pressure on them to perform better and give better service.