Breaking Up With My Blackberry

by: Zachary Stafford

Dear BB,

As I sit here in the airport waiting on my flight to Nashville, I listen to Lauryn Hill’s song “The Ex-Factor” and I reflect on our relationship, which has stretched almost four years, and I have come to the conclusion that “it ain’t working,” to quote Ms. Hill.

You’re getting old and dated, and not so much in a proverbial way, but in a very symbolic Lindsay Lohan post-rehab sort of way that makes me embarrassed to be with you in public. Your keyboard and rolling ball no longer hold their sexy appeal that once entranced me and brought you into my life. Your screen is smudged and your body cracked — I feel that I failed you. I feel that I never got you the right protection or I took you to one too many bars where you were met one too many Champagne cocktails and wooden floors.

I used to enjoy walking with you, holding you next to my venti Americano, staring aimlessly into your vivid screen, showing you off to the world hoping people would notice you and think: “He’s a Blackberry person.” I was a Blackberry person.

You were the perfect wingperson and we had a successful open relationship — you allowed me to get people’s contact information without giving my number; Blackberry Messenger, or BBM, let me be fake, add a new person, then delete them with hopes of never running into them again. Yet this was a double-edged sword, you were a tattle-tale–you told my friends I had received their messages and if I had read them yet, not allowing me to ignore people. You kept me too accountable and I resent you for that. I needed space; you didn’t allow that.

Whenever you had something to say, you would blink vigorously with a red light that had me dropping whatever I was doing to see what you wanted. If I didn’t check you immediately, I would get anxious, worried I was missing something important, and upon finally seeing what you needed it was most of the time just another email from Club Monaco telling me of a sale or a work email that I didn’t want to check till the morning.

Oh, and let’s not even go into me turning you on, which took forever! I would wait patiently, watching your loading bar slowly increase, and once you got good and turned on, you had a security check! What did you need to check, we just spent 10 minutes getting you ready, aren’t you ready?!

I can’t do this any more. I have seen what you will look like if I upgrade you, plastic and cheap. It’s time to go; I have found a new love, and his name is iPhone. He treats me nice, lets me touch all over him in public, gets turned on super fast, keeps secrets better, and he is skinny. There is no flashing when he has to tell me something, he lets me take my own time to check him, use him and be with him.

I won’t forget you, though; you were the very first smartphone I was ever with. I will always appreciate the times at parties when I knew no one and you made me look just a little less like a lonely looser in a corner. I will always appreciate the time you helped me write a paper due for a class my sophomore year of college, which we wrote 10 minutes before class started, emailed in, and even got an A–you were a life-saver.

When I see you around with friends I will ask about you, see how you are doing in your relationships with others, and I will even speak fondly of our time together, but I just can’t anymore.

I’m sorry…it’s over.


Author’s Note: This was originally posted at Thought Catalog and the Huffington Post here and here.

Zach Stafford is a Tennessee writer currently living in Chicago. His work has appeared at places such as: USAToday, Thought Catalog, The New Gay, and Bookforum. Outside of writing and watching Ally McBeal on Netflix, Zach is in the process of applying to PhD programs in the field of Cultural Geography & Urbanization. Also, Zach is the Production Assistant and a Contributor to the web series, which explores the lives of effeminate gay men in America. Follow him on Twitter @zachstafford.

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