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Eww, a BlackBerry? How a must-have phone became an object of shame

It's so hard to stay hip. Just ask the BlackBerry. It wasn't so long ago that the smart device was also a savvy accessory – a sign that you were big in business, or at least important enough to your company that you needed one. Not so any more, according to The New York Times.

In the latest blow to maker Research In Motion, the Times is describing the BlackBerry as an object of shame, something upon which you text furtively in the bathroom at cocktail parties to avoid the scorn of the iPhone users around you.

The article describes Rachel Crosby, who does just this, hiding it at parties and conferences, or sliding it underneath her iPad at business meeting so her clients won't judge her. "I am ashamed of it," she tells the Times. When the battery apparently dies while it is leisurely uploading a file, she says, "I want to take a bat to it. You can't do anything with it. You're supposed to, it's all a big lie."

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It gets worse: Another BlackBerry user describes getting the snooty once-over when she asked the concierge at an upscale resort for a charger: "First he said, 'Sure.' Then he saw my phone and – in this disgusted tone – said, 'Oh no, no, not for that.' "

Now, BlackBerry fans could argue – and they do toward the end of the story – that the device makes it much easier to send texts and to type e-mails than on the iPhone's touch screen. But, speaking from experience, it's fair to say that if you want to check the weather or find the nearest movie theatre, you are probably going to beg to borrow your partner's iPhone.

"I feel absolutely helpless," bemoans Victoria Gossage, the one who was snubbed at the resort. "You're constantly watching people do all these things on their phones."

Yes, a tragedy to be sure. Because, as one BlackBerry advocate points out in the Times piece, you can hardly live without an app "to map your ski runs." And imagine going on without the light-sabre app for those Sith encounters. (Okay, admittedly, that one is kind of fun.)

Still, you don't need the Magic Eight Ball app to tell you that the iPhone, as well as Android devices, are just higher on the cool quotient than the BlackBerry.

"The BlackBerry was once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite," The New York Times states, but it was now become "a magnet for mockery and derision" from those carrying iPhones. (Although it can be argued that Apple fans, are by nature, prone to putting on airs.)

But mockers beware: There's always something hipper on the horizon.

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Are you ashamed of your BlackBerry? Tell the truth: Do you flaunt your iPhone?

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About the Author

Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More


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