I can't tell you how many times I get a strange or confused look whenever I mention that I'm not on Social Media. Even Kevin admitted his envy when he discovered that I'm not on Instagram, Twitter, foursquare, Facebook or anything else. In fact, he asked me to share my reasons about it on CrackBerry even though it's not news.
I initially shied away from writing such an article but I know the strength of CrackBerry is in its community, and connecting to everyone here should always remain my priority. Before I start, I'd like to also note that BlackBerry's CEO, John Chen, isn't on any social media either — so to my comfort — I'm not alone.
I get asked countless times why I'm not on social media and though the feeling of indifference is all I have for it, I politely respond with, "I guess its not my thing" (along with a shrug). However this wasn't always the case. I've certainly been on social media before and tried most of the networks. It has helped me connect in some respects, but I didn't exactly find my life anymore rewarding because of it.
Today I confidently walk around with a BlackBerry 10 device as it effectively meets my everyday needs and demands with efficiency. But every once in a while, I think back to when I was younger and no one had any mobile devices. Few had computers — let alone internet — and find myself wondering how we ever existed without technology, the Internet of Things or even HDTV. It's interesting to see what was then and what is now and it's like observing two different lives.
Today I confidently walk around with a BlackBerry 10 device as it effectively meets my everyday needs and demands with efficiency.
One life ruled by community events, riding bikes, constructing clubhouses, written letters in the mail, Encyclopedia Britannica, helping mom cut out coupons for food shopping, getting into trouble with neighborhood friends, supper with the family at the table and who can forget — the living room with the television set — and if you had it good, a VCR.
The other life, ruled by our obsession to hyper connectivity with mobile devices, computers, Internet, apps, video games, social networks, texting and entertainment media.
We've come such a long way in technology in such a short amount of time. As a kid, I envied Captain Kirk on the Starship Enterprise for his small communication device and Dick Tracy for his wristwatch. I would've never guessed that in my lifetime I would own technology that surpasses these things once considered only science fiction, but I do. Most of us do. It's such an incredible human achievement where we stand today in global communications and technology. It's exciting and fast-paced but somehow I still find myself looking for something more and it's odd. I look around and seem to have everything I want: A nice computer, amazing phone, HDTV, gaming console, etc. But I still feel disconnected somehow. So what's missing? Me.
It happened so elusively that I can't even pinpoint the moment in time when it did: The time technology took over my life. When going out to play ball was replaced by long chat room sessions online. When hanging out with friends was replaced by online gaming and when talking was replaced by texting. Long gone are the days when our homes had one telephone and it was shared by everyone and when you received that "special call", you ran into the bathroom stretching out that phone cord to it's max just to get some privacy. It may be silly but I miss that. And I think that's what's missing — the human connection. It's been replaced by technology. We don't visit anyone anymore because we can just video chat. We don't write letters to see how our friends and family are doing because we can just check their latest status on Facebook or Twitter. We don't talk to anyone anymore because we can just text with a bunch of people simultaneously. It seems that we've allowed technology to replace the things that enrich our lives.
I've never been closer and further apart from the world at the same time. I suppose the answer is found in my balance. I needed to restore it in my life. Technology has its place and time in our everyday lives but it's not everything. I often hear people say that if they lost their phone, they wouldn't know what to do. That they would feel naked or panic. Really? Our dependence nowadays has gone from ourselves to our technology. Because of this, I've actually started to leave my mobile device at home during non-working hours/days and not watch TV for a week and use the internet only when necessary. Even something this simple most people can't do now. But I need it to maintain that balance for myself.
This is where being a BlackBerry user has changed things for me. The introduction of BlackBerry 10 has streamlined the fragmentation of everything. The new OS with its reliability, efficiency and communications has put time back into my life. Peek and flow has revolutionized the way I access information, BlackBerry Remember has simplified organization by allowing me to easily file everything I find, like, need-to-do and remember while the brilliance of the HUB keeps all my communications a gesture away.
I wanted to simplify my everyday habits and focus on the things that keep me moving.
This literally inspired me to eliminate all the "additives" and distractions in my life. I wanted to simplify my everyday habits and focus on the things that keep me moving. In essence, my decision to get rid of all social media came from BlackBerry's philosophy of productivity and efficiency because that's the lifestyle I want to emanate. I mean if it can work on a mobile phone, why not for me?
BBM plays a huge part of this. With the addition of BBM Channels along with video/voice calls, screen share, Glympse, Dropbox integration and others — I always stay connected with the people that I choose. I can remain mobile and share moments, thoughts and pictures privately and securely without worrying about my activity or data being tracked or sold.
In the end, my only gripe is that I did not do this sooner. I cannot tell you how much more significant my days are now that I can get things done without anything to take away from my time and progress. There's something peaceful and pure about it all now. Call me old fashioned but this is the way I like for things to be. And this is how BlackBerry got me off social media.
In conclusion, I would like to leave you with words from a wise man to meditate upon.
"This is the paradox of our times.
We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints
We spend more, but we have less.
We have bigger houses, but smaller families
More conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense
More knowledge, but less judgment
More experts, but more problems
More medicines, but less wellness.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often
We have learnt how to make a living, but not a life.
We have added years to life, but not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back
But have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We have conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted our soul.
We've split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We've higher incomes, but lower morals.
We've become long on quantity but short on quality.
These are the times of tall men, and short character;
Steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare,
More leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces;
Of fancier houses, but broken homes.
It is a time when there is much in the show window, and nothing in the stockroom.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you,
And a time when you can choose,
Either to change... or just hit, delete."
-Dr. Bob Moorehead
Article Written by Jubei Raziel