Posted on

The Blackberry Pandemic

This is you.

If you know what that image above represents then you own a Blackberry, if you don’t then close your eyes and fucking run!

I have come to common instances in social situations where I have been left out by my peers due to this ‘smartphone’ by Research in Motion. This is because I own an iPhone, which I will continuously argue is the superior product. However, because of the massive consumer market of Blackberry users in South East Asia, they will beat me up, and debate furiously against my claims – Its always going to be a losing battle.

Its not new to observe a moment of silence when your out with your friends, there will be a time when sitting at a cafe, mamak stall, or restaurant, where everyone will be busting away at their keypads texting their other friends. Today, this social phenomena is understood as “BEE BEEING” one another.

“BEE BEE” or “BE BE” is a universal phrase understood by different cultures and languages. To “BEE BEE” is to participate in the Blackberry’s chat room, where you are able to to chat in real time with your contacts through Blackberry’s servers for ‘free’. Intimately shortened as ‘BB’ this phrase has made asking for telephone numbers redundant, where you find that you will be trading something more complex known as a ‘Pin’

“What’s your Pin” asks Aizat.

“Oh, its AX!%$%$&!AS@R#$@@138402748201-38-28402482046392” says Klarissa.

(Alternatively, you can scan what is called a Barcode – which is the image at the top)

The phone has spread across South East Asia like a pandemic. It was designed for the corporate consumer, to effectively manage business processes and communication. However, it has broken into the wider market,which has a younger demographic such as students, teenagers, and pre-teens because of the BlackBerry messenger application, which allows for ‘free’ SMS. In Indonesia alone, 56.8% of the population uses this phone, and its been predicted to reach 146 million users by 2010.

Living in South East Asia and not owning this device, will have a negative implication in your social life, you may find that communication between your friends and new acquaintances becomes limited and even restricted when not having this product in your possession.

My personal experiences coming to terms with this (mis)understanding, was when I was trying to hit on this cewek at a club in Jakarta.

I was hanging out with the other male writers of shriekingmonkeys popping champagne bottles (feeling like P Diddy) like no ones business. When a busty, Sundanese girl approaches our table and catches my attention. So the regular ‘pick up’ method ensues, where drinks are poured, the ice is broken, and simple conversation is exchanged. This eventually comes to ‘exchanging numbers part’.

“Malay boy, I think you so adorable” slurs the Sundanese girl.

Not the Fruit.

“Why thank you, I get that quite a bit, so don’t flatter yourself” I reply.

“I don’t understand, but’s its alright, what’s your BEE BEE?” she asks.

“Oh, sorry, I don’t have a Blackberry” I answer dejectedly.

“Well you not adorable anymore!” She replies in anger.

She throws the champagne at my face, and steps on my toe and storms off. I sit there rejected while consoling my bruised ego because I didn’t own a Blackberry. (The anecdote is fiction by the way. But you get my point!)

I strongly believe that the massive control of the market comes with the selling point of the Blackberry Messenger application which insinuates the principles of consumerism and Malcom Gladwell’s theory of the Tipping point.

Consumerism believes that personal happiness can be obtained in consumption of a product. Happiness can be seen and found through your friends,family, and colleagues. So a product than can bring communication between these characters also brings happiness.

The Tipping Point is a sociological theory which observes a threshold point where when a product or an idea tips over and spreads like a pandemic. I understand this in this context as:

A group friends buy the Blackberry, invite their friends, they buy the BlackBerry, and tell their other friends – repeat these steps through until South East Asia is conquered.

Fulfilling these two principles has worked in favor in Blackberry’s marketing campaign, as they seek to brainwash expand their market, and forsee the boundaries of communication being broken. So getting in contact with your good friend’s all the way in {insert country} is as simple as BEE BEEING him or her.

So, in the sake of communication I take the saying: ”If you can’t beat them – Join them”.

So add me on my BlackBerry soon – my ego swallowed and my heart in tears.

(However, I still stand on my opinion that the iPhone is the superior product ALL-ROUND, and that the BlackBerry only competes BECAUSE of its Messenger service. Boo-yah.)

Iphone WIN

About Ariff Azmi

Founder of shriekingmonkeys - My interests span from quirky culture to anything that dares to amuse my highly-desensitized nature.

19 responses to “The Blackberry Pandemic

  1. far18 ⋅

    yay you succumbed to it!! 🙂

    • ariffjunior ⋅

      Succumbed is a strong word, I merely understand that to communicate with you ‘lesser folk’ (who don’t agree iphone has greater capabilities) I need to invest in the Techno/fruit…

      *sigh*- I still lose.

  2. fiq ⋅

    If im not mistaken ariff, the iphone has a 3rd party app that lets you bee beee also.

    • ariffjunior ⋅

      The iPhone has Ping! which is BEE BEEING between iPhones, but since the rest of SEA doesn’t understand the fact the iPhone is better, I have very little contacts on it. If there is an inter-product application between the phones, then it allows me not invest and bow down to the authority of the Berry.

  3. tata ⋅

    correction, its not a barcode, its a QR-code. barcode is the straight lines thingie, this is the new shiznit.

  4. klarissa

    hahaha i heard you’re getting one ariff…. you are now officially trendy! *high five*

  5. klarissa

    and you are now a step closer to hooking up with indo chics in random night clubs. score?

  6. ashed

    SELLOUT! nah..ur cool

    • ariffjunior ⋅

      Everytime I look at my iphone I see it saying ” Man, I thought you were cool, but you just like the rest, fucking sell out bitch”

      “I thought you LOVED me” it screams. The iphone starts crying and runs off and locks itself in my room.

  7. SOMRN ⋅

    Just use your iPhone if you still have it. You’ll be Trendy + Cool, which of course translates to ‘I iz pwning youz’.

  8. far18 ⋅

    shizzzz, you should really make an iBerry junyah. mad cool!

  9. Hawaiian ⋅

    Ariff 100% true… iPhone is the bomb ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s