CrackBerry Poll: BBM and intimate relationships - a blessing or curse?

By Yousif Abdullah on 27 May 2011 03:28 pm EDT
BBM Relationships

For some it is boon, for others bane. But for all I know, BBM is not only a major selling point of BlackBerry smartphones, but for some people it is the sole reason to buy one in the first place! Whether just socializing, sharing intimate moments or having fun with friends, BBM can both be a powerful communications tool or the very opposite of a carefree, merry experience. In a recent study conducted across various Middle Eastern countries about BBM and its effects on family relations, a theme of disappointment was found among individuals who had hoped for better. One of them was Nadin Akbar, a Saudi graphic designer. She realized that BBM had a devastating impact on her romance.

I thought that BlackBerry Messenger could keep me close to my fiancé all day long, making our relationship stronger. Later I discovered that this was not true, because text messages and chatting are completely unanimated. It became hard to understand my fiancé, as these means of communication don’t show facial expressions and vocal tone. He also became tired of contacting me through BBM. Whenever we met, he spent most of the time texting to his friends and work colleagues. He told me that texting every single minute diminished his interest to call or meet me.
Sounds familiar? As with all kinds of text-based communication such as SMS, Instant Messaging (IM) and to a lesser extent email, there is a great risk that the emotional part of our messages is left out, leaving us with a flat, lackluster stack of words to work with. And BBM just happens to be something that many of us use on a regular basis, but even the literally gifted can't overcome textual limitations so I ask you, CrackBerry Nation, what kind of experience have YOU had with BBM? Is it all sweet and sugar or perhaps a heartbreaking melancholy? Share whatever you have in mind – the floor is yours :-)

Topics: BBM News & Rumors

Reader comments

CrackBerry Poll: BBM and intimate relationships - a blessing or curse?


The wife and I find it gives us the right level of communication and efficiency. As always with anything in life, you need to practice maturity and good judgment.

BBM and the BlackBerry keyboard have been the main reasons I came and am currently with BB. I love BBM although some cross-platform messengers especially LiveProfile are beginning to change that dynamic, BBM is still the best messenger that I use with my wife and my friends that (that have BlackBerrys).

Must say. My wife and I loooooove bbm. Makes it so convenient to communicate throughout the day without having to have 5min convos all the time. Its been a huge plus I would say!

The only downside I could see about using BBM with my gf is that she would see anytime I read her message and complain that I didn't reply immediately. Haha. Not going to lie, when she texts me, sometimes I'll take my time then lie and say I replied as soon as I read it. :)

We're all guilty of that. That's one of the reasons why I'm somewhat glad my girlfriend doesn't have a BlackBerry.

Yeah man that R on the bbm has gotten me in trouble so many times. Sometimes I just preview the bbm in the message folder without opening it lol

There should have been another selection...
o BBM is simply fun for us... we don't rely on it for communicating

My wife and I share silly, flirty, and sometimes dirty messages over BBM... you know the "Bleep my Bleep Bleep in Bleep" messages. Little short things that we just want to pass along as well.

We still meet up during days or call each other as needed... For us, BBM is just fun and convenient. There are no "expectations" of using it all the time.

It takes time to learn and balance new communications technology in one's life.

There can be an immediate benefit to some, e.g., people who are deaf, or have trouble making time to talk on a phone; however, communicating emotion via a restricted medium takes time for most people--but it has been proven again and again that emotion through text is possible (has anyone been emotionally moved by reading a book? :)

During the early years of our marriage, I worked in tech support call centers, and my wife worked in busy medical offices and ERs, making it difficult for us to talk to each other throughout the day. We were, however, able to text. We became T9 wizzes. BBM was a revelation and a major selling-point when I convinced my wife to let me get us both Curve 8300s. 4 years later, we chat on BBM more than we talk on the phone. We have absolutely developed a feel for each others' "tone" in the text medium, further enhanced by emoticons and apps like Fancy Characters. You do lose the physicality of facial expressions and tone, but you can compensate to a fairly large degree.

Anyhoo, it's helped us stay in touch with each other for a long time. :)

That's so cool and sweet at the same time! Ah, love is in the air :)

See the screenshot? That's just one of the ways how I and my girlfriend have developed a feel for each other's tone, as you put it. We simply text in different languages :)

P.S. Bonus points if someone recognizes all three languages used in that conversation!

Peace (& love),

Back when my wife had a blackberry, we had developed a feel for each other's BBM tone too. For some reason, using SMS back and forth (or gtalk for that matter) just isn't the same.

I guess it can go both ways, it all depends on how you comunicate with your significant other. What me and my gf did was try to talk a but less on bbm so that at the end of the day we'd have something to share. When we started talking a bit less on bbm we started to share more face to face again.
Another thing, whenever I'm with someone (be it eating dinner or simply hanging out) I try to keep texting or chatting on bbm to the minimum since I am already sharing with someone

Theoretical right now - my girlfriend gets her first BlackBerry tomorrow - but we've relied a lot on texts for where we are right now. We'll be spending next year apart at different schools so BBM is key. It's never a replacement for face-to-face, but when that is impossible then BBM will be much better than nothing.

BBM is the best way to have an argument. She can't interrupt you as you are presenting your well thought out side of the argument. Everyone gets to have their say.

The "vibrate when pinged" or whatever it's called was a nifty feature. I had the same setup for poke on facebook. We used to have ping and poke moments throughout the day, keep it in your pockets and the other half could quickly let you know when you are being thought about ;).

notice I said "used to" though.....

If you want to read the message they sent you but you don't want them to know you read it, simply highlight the convo (don't open it) then hit the BlackBerry menu button and select "view chat history" you can read the message and it won't change the "D" to a "R"

u can also read the preview from the message inbox (where ur email goes) before opening bbm and reading it. you only get 1 sentence though

My wife has a BB style 9670, but does not use bbm, she is a Facebook zombie. We text every now & then but I don't think she will ever come around.

Back when my wife had a blackberry, we would BBM often, now she has an EVO and we don't use text based communication means nearly as much. When both had BBM I found it beneficial to the relationship. Communicating with text only does put limits on what you can express and understand, but I still found it beneficial.

Being in a long distance relationship, BBM is a necessity. It's how our relationship started, how we first got to know each other, and over 2 years later we still use it almost daily. Of course, we also use gtalk on the laptops, FaceTime (as we both have MacBook Pros and other assorted Apple devices), and now can use Video Chat on our PlayBooks as well. Technology is what keeps us connected when we are apart. I can't imagine how people ever did it back in the days of snail mail. I'd go crazy not hearing from him for a week!!! :P

My gf has a BB and BBM can be an annoyance. While at work, I constantly get BBM messages from her about non-urgent matters. On one occassion, I got 40 BBM messages and about 10 emails from her on stuff that was not urgent when I was tied up trying to get work done. BBM has caused several fights because she got upset that I didn't reply or look at the phone.

The problem is I get a very high volume of calls, emails, BBMs and text messages through my work, so I really don't need more. My BB is for work, but for my gf, her BB is for personal use and she doesn't have the volume of messages that I have, on top of her less busy schedule. I take a very practical approach to my messages and only reply to things that warrant a response. She doesn't see things that way.

Its great for my relationship when I am overseas and away from my gf, great way to keep in contact along with sending pictures without needing computer or struggling to set times to meet online with the different time zones.

However sometimes, for some reason, my phone marks the bbm as read but I "haven't read it yet" for awhile and I get yelled at for ignoring her! haha. Then also sometimes my fingers hurt so I finally just stop relying and talk to her in person or on phone, so I try to balance it.

Overall can see both sides of it, but think it helped me he most. The main reason my gf got a Bold instead of an iphone was to bbm with me.

doesn't apply to me, you should put an option:

[] i'm single


edit: the first question i ask new girls i meet: "Are you on bbm?"

I actually met my boyfriend on bbm and I don't know what I would do with bbm(or my boyfriend!). It's currently a long distance relationship and it's how we communicate. I'm sure we drive everyone else crazy, cause both of us usually have a phone attached to our hands. It's nice when we're together,cause we can actually put the phones down!

BBM is my preferred way to stay in touch. I use it for both my significant other and to keep in touch w/friends. It has only helped my relationship with the significant other--especially so when either of us travels. I think that when people have relationship problems that seem to stem from BBM use, it is the couple and not the tech to blame. BBM just helps to highlight relationship issues that were already there for couples that are a bad match, IMHO. For couples that are a good match, it brings them closer together. If you aren't able to communicate--if you have nothing to say to each other--what is your relationship based on?

I see many problems with the question asked in this post, because not all users and services can't be compared, my point been:

first of all BBM is a very integral app that allows more than "just texting", specially since they increased the time you can use for a voice message, it wont give the feed back of a real time conversation but in "bad moments" can help to clarify something that was misunderstood.

second maybe another problem that there is with texting could be the language you use to communicate, Spanish, French or even German have more words to describe different stuff (like feelings) helping greatly in this subjects of love relationships

last but not the least i think that one great advantage of the BBM Service is that unlike SMS or other services you can send as much text as you want and don't have to rely on using abbreviations or weird symbols to get all you want to say on a message. Also emoticon packs help enrich the conversation

in conclusion i believe BBM to be an effective communication tool for everyday use in personal and business relationships... but if you can't get people to understand you don't be cheap and CALL!

Sounds like her fiancée was getting tired of her not tired of using BBM, and sounds like she just wanted somebody to blame, in this case BBM lol

I believe BBM has made the relationship between my gf and I stronger. I feel always connected to her 24/7 because of BBM. We don't send each other constant updates on ever little thing, but we're always chatting.

I'm one of those people who solely use blackberry for BBM and because of long distance relationship with my fiancee, thats the best way to be in touch all the time as we both live in different countries.

I bought her blackberry just for this purpose.

The key to make relationship bond stronger through texts like BBM, have ONLY your wife/fiancee/spouse in your BBM list, so he/she should know how important he/she isin your life so that there wont be any chance of conflicts arising because of BBM.

My case is exactly like her.
I think I'm breaking up with her soon...
Whatsapp, not bbm but its the same thing afterAll

BBM proved my girlfriend was a lying and lead to finding all kinds of stuff she was doing behind my back. Thank you BBM.

I like this blog entry! Some lateral thinking on for sure!

Poll needed an option for a "neutral" position... sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

Currently my gf and I live on separate continents. Besides being 9 hours time distance apart, I don't know if we could have managed. That would have meant giving up extremely amazing experiences for us both. Sending pictures is a cool bonus.

Just as a telephone call does not replace in person, bbm or texting doesn't replace either. Its simply adds an option. All three are completely different forms of communication, each with pros and cons.

To the guy that gets too many bbm messages, 40 is a bit nuts. maybe tell her the truth that you are busy at work and cannot always talk to her every second of the day. bbm is after all a coooooomunication tool. I have no problem telling my gf hey can't talk busy nor her telling me the same. Its nothing personal its simply that hey we have other stuff to do sometimes! its normal.

ps the languages are English German and maybe something nordic... doesn't seem Swedish though so many Finish?