Blackberry, Orange and Apple – one or more of your five a day?

I got a spam email earlier this week offering me a webinar on “Blackberry Tips, Tricks and Apps for lawyers”.   For £160 and an investment of 60 minutes of my time watching the webinar I’d update my knowledge on how other lawyers are getting the most out of their Blackberry.  Us lawyers are evidently such nastily competitive types that the best way to sell webinars to us is not to advertise what we’ll get out of our Blackberry but to suggest that our competition are already getting more out of theirs than we are.

Thing is, I already spend far too long with my Blackberry.   I phone and text  with it, I email  with it, I access Facebook and the internet through it and take photos and video with it.  ALL THE TIME.   If,  heaven forfend,  I forget to take it with me when I leave the house or the battery runs out I panic.  Really.    For a start I don’t know anybody’s telephone numbers any more to ring them to warn them that I haven’t got my Blackberry with me so they should not construe my failure to respond to a text or email within three hours as indicative of my sudden death.  I can’t even make it through an hour’s telly without checking it once or twice.  Not even for telly I really like – things like Grey’s Anatomy or the Wire (series three now, ya feel me).   I tell myself and anyone who’ll listen that Blackberries (or is it Blackberrys?) are good for the working mum.  “You can nip off early from work and pick up the kids from school and no one need know you’re not in the office,”  I say.  This may well be true but actually what Blackberries (Blackberrys just looks wrong)  have done is to extend the working day to well, when you go to bed really.     I regularly get emails at all times of the night  from clients and other solicitors on the other side who are working late and I feel obliged to respond and thereby demonstrate that I’m every bit as hard working and dedicated as they are.    Nastily competitive see?

Of course, it’s not just Blackberries that people are working late on.  Apple I-Phones are equally bad and you can get push email on Orange and other mobile phones too.   We’re all at it – working round the clock because technology has made it possible and because the more people do it, the more people come to expect that level of responsiveness as the norm.  Twenty years ago when I qualified as a solicitor no one had computers; the world wide web and google and  facebook and twitter and Blackberry had not been invented (which sounds as archaic as sending very small children up chimneys and down mines)  and when you went home you didn’t do any more work till you got back into the office the next day.    Gosh doesn’t that sound nice?  The top tip, trick and application for Blackberries really should be “It’s 6.30pm.  PUT IT DOWN ALREADY.  STEP AWAY FROM THE BLACKBERRY AND SPEND SOME TIME WITH YOUR KIDS/OTHER HALF/DOG/WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT.

So, even though my husband says he’ll believe it when he sees it, I’m going to try and cut down a little on my Blackberry intake.  And unless that webinar is going to show me how my Blackberry can put the bins out and run the Hoover over I’ll be giving it a miss.

Another top tip:  When scrolling through  emails on your Blackberry  if you press ‘t’ it will take you to the most recent email.   Press ‘b’ to get to the least recent.

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