Behind the ‘CrackBerry’


Berry Nice: Always with their Blackberrys in hand, these students show off the various models of the phone. | Photo by Meghan Prior ’11

Berry Nice: Always with their Blackberrys in hand, these students show off the various models of the phone. | Photo by Meghan Prior '11
Berry Nice: Always with their Blackberrys in hand, these students show off the various models of the phone. | Photo by Meghan Prior '11

A kid going to school without his or her BlackBerry is equal to forgetting to put on clothing before leaving the house. The BlackBerry smartphone, or “CrackBerry” as it is commonly known, is making its way into the palms of teenagers.

The phone that was previously known as a business accessory is now getting the attention of teens.

When it was released in 1999, the BlackBerry was primarily used as an adult business tool. Now, it has become a critical device for updating a teen’s status on Facebook and other social networking sites.

The BlackBerry offers a variety of multimedia features, including Internet access, e–mail capability, as well as various game, organizational and communication applications and more.

More recently BlackBerry has added the BlackBerry App World; people can now download applications right to their phone whether it be a constant news update or a food calorie counter.

BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, is a type of texting system unique to the BlackBerry. It is another reason that some choose to purchase the phone, although only other BlackBerry users can message each other this way. BBM helps people who prefer to text to stay in contact.

“I keep in touch with my camp friends through BBM,” said Katie Blumenfeld ’12.

But BBM, like all of the other special features, comes with a price; the phone itself ranges anywhere from 100 to 300 dollars, as well as an additional fee for monthly access charges.

While some kids can easily get their parents to pay the large fee, it takes others a great deal of convincing before they can purchase the smart phone.

Students have their BlackBerrys by their side around the clock — when they sleep, when they eat, even when they use the bathroom. But students are not the only people at Staples loading up on technology, teachers also have an attachment to their BlackBerrys.

“It’s the Swiss Army knife of phones,” said Jaclyn Jeselnik, art teacher at Staples and owner of the BlackBerry Storm.

Jeselnik doesn’t go anywhere without her handheld Internet access.

Some people would argue that the phone is really similar to a mini computer but is perhaps even better because it can provide access to the world wide web whenever and wherever the user has a need.

BlackBerry has managed to come up with eight versions of the phone, including the Curve, the Pearl, the Storm, the Bold, and the new Tour. Each phone provides more features then the previous generation.

In addition, phones such as the Curve or the Pearl come in a variety of colors.

Similar to the multiple versions of the BlackBerry there are also tons of assorted phone cases. People dress their BlackBerrys up in a variety colors — anywhere from hot pink to zebra print. However, not everyone buys the phone for its looks.

“I got [a BlackBerry] so I could check my email all the time because I get sent information about the soccer games I referee for,” said Kyle Hoberman ’12.

Many students similarly use the phone mainly for emails that concern after school activities that might be scheduled during the day. But others simply buy it because their friends have BlackBerrys and love them.

There is seemingly nothing that the BlackBerry cannot do, making it increasingly difficult for other phones to compete.

The popularity of the BlackBerry continues to grow, as the features are enhanced and new ones created. The technology is so sophisticated that it is hard to imagine what they will come up with next.