Blackberry Outage – Capitalizing on Stockholm Syndrome
So Africa, Europe and the Middle East have been plagued by Blackberry outages since Monday and the public outcry has been nothing short of deafening. I myself identify as a Blackberry user, but apart from one little niggly thing, the outage hasn’t really bothered me.
At first I shared in the pain and frustration of my fellow BB users. I raged at RIM for the miserable failure that has been their PR reaction to this debacle, for their lack of foresight and planning and for the sheer annoyance of having to start up my laptop to read my emails. I mean, how dare they inconvenience me like that?
Then it dawned on me that regardless of the fact that my BB went silent for a day or two, I didn’t really miss anything. There was blissful silence because the 30 people who insisted on sending me those godforsaken broadcast messages could no longer do so, and the battery actually lasted till I got home.
This made me think of our relationship with technology, especially mobile technology. Forget your phone at home for a day, and you feel completely naked. Your service provider goes down and your world ends. My boss made the comment today, wondering how much have been lost in terms of money and productivity with this outing? I wonder….
I realised some things.
a) remove broadcast messages from my life and I am happy
b) I don’t really get a lot of messages with substance
c) I can survive without being in contact 24/7
Twitter and Facebook can just as easily be managed from a pc, there is no need for a constant connection. Same with emails. I actually removed my work emails from my phone a month ago, and I think personal emails will follow soon.
I also took a look at what the BB models have to offer technically, and as hardware they are pretty much sub-par. Apart from the advantages of BIS, the phones do not really offer anything spectacular. Proponents (or should I call them prophets?) of BB keep hammering on about the free BBM service or the free email and internet browsing, and I have to admit that those things are nice. The rest is just plain shit.
The first company to offer a similar service with decent hardware will sweep the floor with RIM. But for now, they will stay the number one company when it comes to capitalizing on Stockholm Syndrome.