As I write this, I'm sitting on my sofa. The TV news is on (endless reports on pending middle east war and cheating generals), my Mac is on my lap, and my Blackberry is nearby, dinging with emails and texts.
It's time to draw a line in the sand.
First, though, we must face facts. I am a child of television. I grew up on the thing when the picture was tiny, black and white, and featuring wholesome boys and girls saying "Yes Ma'am" to vacuuming, pearl-clad, stay-at-home moms. I now own a dozen TVs -- little ones, big ones, flat screens, back-breaking older versions, and one (whose picture tube is blown) that was owned by my parents, a console too massive for even my strongest guy friends to haul out of my house. I am addicted to television: this monkey is on my back to stay.
Then there's the computer. Come on. I'm not giving that one up either, not when at my fingertips I have the world.
My Blackberry, however, is a different animal. Another computer, yes, but this one tiny and as haunting as siren song. Emails and texts not only appear on its mini-face, but announce their presence with metallic bongs, causing my eyes to drag away from other screens to see what vitally important associate is bothering me now (half the time the message is from an unknown someone advising me how to lose weight, grow hair, or enlarge body parts I do not have). Appallingly, of course, I can silence the Blackberry with the flick of a finger. I don't, though, not even at bedtime. Yes. The Blackberry follows me to the chamber of slumber. It is on my night table when I fall asleep, wakes me in the morning with its clock alarm, and is the first thing I reach for upon waking. Because I have to SEE who contacted me overnight, even if it's only the wife of a fallen prince letting me know funds have been deposited in my name at a bank in Tanzania.
I am a Blackberry addict.
So I've made a decision. I'm going to stop texting people so they'll stop texting me. I'm going to set the Blackberry on silent. I'm going check emails only during business hours, and I'm going to buy a regular alarm clock so I can leave this cigarette-pack sized, screeching prodding apparatus full of bits and bytes in the kitchen when I sleep. I will no longer be a slave to a contraption named after a piece of fruit!
Wait a minute, okay, sorry, I need to run...my Blackberry is vibrating...I guess I set it wrong...better find out if I'm a million dollar lotto winner, or if there's a new way to enlarge a body part I do have...