Skip to main content

BlackBerry: Why breaking up is hard to do

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Struggling BlackBerry announces it plans to become a private company
  • CNN's Kristie Lu Stout refuses to let go of her BlackBerry device
  • But she says other smartphones offer better apps, functionality

Editor's note:

Hong Kong (CNN) -- I can't even remember the last time I thumbed a message on its itty-bitty qwerty keyboard.

And yet, I stubbornly keep my BlackBerry in my bag and on my desk, fully charged.

As with my Palm Vx of yesterday, breaking up with a beloved gadget is hard to do, especially when you have history.

BlackBerry: From cool to afterthought
BlackBerry may have a buyer

My BlackBerry and I go back over 10 years. We met at a telecom conference in Hong Kong. I will never forget the wonder of our first wireless e-mail.

Look, I'm no softie when it comes to loving and leaving my electronics. I've thrown out old Macs. I've recycled expired Sony Ericsson handsets. I've even trashed now-antique digital cameras.

But this is the longest and saddest gadget breakup I've ever gone through.

I can no longer accept its limits: A disappointing apps portfolio, clunky interface, and frankly lame camera.

Over the years, we grew apart. I started to dabble in social media and mobile photography. The tools on offer from other devices were far better in functionality, speed and resolution. I wanted my BlackBerry to change, and yet it never managed to deliver.

And suddenly, I felt like it just wasn't there for me.

I have stopped using the beloved device. But like the other 50 million BlackBerry users still out there, I just can't pull the plug.

Read more: BlackBerry's dwindling users ponder uncertain future

As with others suffering relationship issues in the digital age, I turned to social media for advice.

"Make it quick. Drop it in the tub. Better for both of you," advised Beijing blogger Bill Bishop.

Michael Sommer tweeted, "If it's not wounded or sick, no mercy killing. Put it into a vitrine."

After looking up the word "vitrine," I realized that putting an expired gadget in a glass box is like taxidermy for a deceased pet. Sorry. Just can't go there.

But not everyone was as keen to ditch the BlackBerry.

My ever-compassionate colleague John Vause said, "Don't do it... it will get better... I promise."

On Monday, BlackBerry announced that it was being taken private -- a headline that raised hopes among loyalists that change is sure to come.

Meanwhile, my pal Eunice Yoon implored me to keep hope alive with the reminder, "the typing is so much easier!"

But the doubt has already settled in, and I'm already starting to see my BlackBerry in the past tense.

"Just for fun, I fire up my circa 2005 Treo 750 sometimes," reminisced J. L. Gatewood.

That's one beautiful ode to throwback gadgetry. BlackBerry, I'm not quite ready to throw you out. You remain fully charged.

Opinion: Why I'll never ditch my Blackberry

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:39 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT