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I Broke My Addiction

Picture of Karl Palachuk

Karl W. Palachuk
September 14, 2011

Phones haven’t been phones for awhile now.

Those who use their phones to make phone calls are “quaint” to the technorati that use their phones for buzzing around the world, twittering, Facebooking, searching, browsing, yelping, 4squaring, texting, and . . . well . . . everything but making phone calls.

I used to have a phone that was GREAT at texting and email. Oh, and phone calls. That used to be important.

Then I won a Blackberry at a vendor show. Knowing it was the future, I connected it up to my cell provider and proceeded boldly onward. Then I got addicted. The crackberry, as some call it, is as addictive as a drug. Email shows up amazingly fast, no matter where you are. The camera was great. Texting was fast and easy. It even (accurately) predicted text.

I loved everything about it.

So when it came time to get a new phone, I got a bigger, better, faster, cooler Blackberry. And with the Blackberry Tour I got even more addicted. It’s Facebook app was extremely powerful and flexible. The camera was as good as you could ask for. Texting was even easier.

And after two years with that phone, I had become one of the people who just doesn’t use the phone for phone calls any more.

The only real weakness of the Blackberry was it’s Internet connectivity. Slow. Microscopic. Impossible to use. And all services related to the Internet were also slow and unbearable.

In the meantime, almost all my friends had moved to iPhones and Droids. So when I got the chance to step up to a Droid, I did. Motorola Droid 3. Cool. Faster Internet.

The primary strength of the Droid is the fast Internet and related services. You can Google something, find addresses fast, and map right to a place. Super cool.

But . . . No addictive.

The Droid is clunky compared to the Blackberry. There was no premium placed on design here. Texting is slow and irritating. Voice recognition is cool, but you spend 25% of the time erasing. The interface is not intuitive, even for users of the older Droid systems. Battery life is very short.

Overall, the Droid 3 is poorly designed from an ergonomic perspective. Every time you touch it, you accidentally make something happen that you didn’t intend to.

The camera is “fine” but not great. The Facebook app is terrible.

Not only do I find that I text a LOT less, but I have virtually given up posting to Facebook in real time. These were two addictive features on the Blackberry.

Sometimes I leave my phone in another room, or in the car, for five or six hours.

The addiction is over.

Maybe it’s good. I need a solid, sensible phone that works competently. I don’t need an amazing device that makes me long to hold it and play with it. I need to let the phone be a tool instead of a toy.

I could go back to the blackberry. And I know I’d be totally addicted again.

But the key things that make the Droid great — Internet browsing and applications — are the killer apps of the future. I’m told the next generation of Blackberry will address these. But for technical reasons about how Blackberry works on the back end, I’m convinced that their days are numbered.

So I have given up something I truly love in order to use the technology that will eventually win the day.

And I’ve learned that an addiction can be overcome.



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