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Mr. Smartphone Douchebag or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Blackberry

I used to hate on those people who walked around playing with their smartphones. iPhones, blackberries, palmphones; they were all the same to me. Worse were the people with two phones, a smartphone and a standard cellphone, who would walk around switching between each like they couldn't live without either one lest there be a global apocalypse and they needed to talk to two people at once on two different lines (make that 4 or 6 seeing as most phones can conference call now). Oh how they annoyed me.

However, in the last month I too have become one of those people. Sucked into the ever building grasp of mobile progression. And I must say, I am loving it!

If you have never owned a smartphone before, let me tell you what you are missing: Freedom

Freedom to access email on the go. Freedom to browse websites on the spot. Freedom to chat with network acquaintances and friends. Freedom to generally stay connected to the one thing that seems to have grafted itself into the lives of nearly 75% of all people in North America - the internet.

If you have ever questioned your own level of productivity and wondered how you could improve upon it, a smartphone may be an outright blessing or it could be a distraction in disguise. Being a business student, I tired of my Verizon Razr cellphone and wanted to find something that could assist me in being more connected as well as seeming more business professional. I have been interested in the iPhone since its debut but never bought one because of the outrageous prices, long lines, and generally crappy (and expensive) data plans offered for it. So I looked for alternatives and picked up on the Blackberry Curve.

That is when I found this website: http://rx.sprintshops.com/phones.aspx

Go ahead and click the link, it won't bite. I found this link through Fatwallet.com's forums and was skeptical at first. 18% discount off of my phone bill? Smartphones for $49.99? This had to be too good to be true. But after some reassurance from forum members I took the plunge and found out that my cautiousness was unneeded in this instance. Not only was I treated with excellent customer service but I also got some additional discounts as well.

I ordered through their live online chat (which I would recommend) and quickly found out that if I ordered that day through the sales rep I would be able to get each of my new Blackberry Curve 8330's for just $0.99 as well as having all activation fees waived (something they will offer to most anyone actually). Most orders are processed within 48 hours with phones being shipped within 2 days time, however due to some complications and a blackberry backorder I did not receive my phones for a week. That was the only issue I had through the entire process.

The plan I got is any datafreaks wet dream. 1500 minutes (25 hours) a month to share between my two new blackberries with Unlimited data, text, email, whatever else you can think of (GPS, Sprint TV, etc). And the total cost for this plan with two phones? I just paid my Sprint bill today: $106 and tax for the month of May. Since mid-April I have been in blackberry heaven; downloading apps, checking email as I get it, even going on facebook to poke a friend or two.

That is where the danger comes in. Sure the iphone has so many apps available you could spend hours browsing them, but the blackberry is the much ignored underdog by tech lovers. And for an underdog it sure has a lot of power. While a blackberry is synonymous with business, it can also be used for play. Social apps such as Facebook and Myspace, as well as AIM, Gmail, MSN, and Blackberry Messenger keep you connected with friends and family easily. Want to be even more available? How about Google Latitude on your phone so people can track your every move. Being a LA Dodgers fan, I even found a mini-app for keeping track of current game scores and player stats.

I can't recommend enough the site I listed above (the link is not a referral one) and I encourage anyone who is willing to go with Sprint as their service provider to check it out. With the introduction of the Palm Pre (a supposed iphone killer) and other upcoming smartphones, you have to be stupid (or admittedly poor) to not try to get one.

I didn't fully notice that I had become one of those smartphone douchebags until one day I was walking to a finance class. Looking down, one hand holding my new blackberry and the other holding my old cellphone as I transferred numbers over and chatted with a friend, I ran into a door frame because I wasn't looking where I was going. Just SMACK, right in with no hesitation at all. Embarrassed but not deterred, I continued on, still playing with my blackberry and not looking where I was going.

I guess they don't call it a crackberry for nothing.

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