I loved my Blackberry. I purchased my “BB” twelve years ago, and it quickly became one of my best friends. I liked the size of the phone and absolutely LOVED the keyboard. Since I usually receive 300 to 400 emails a day, the keyboard was my lifeline. I decided that there was no way I would EVER give up my BB keyboard… those “touchscreen smartphone devices” would NOT enter my life. I recognized that there was a likely possibility that I could end up becoming the last person on Earth using a Blackberry, and that was absolutely fine with me.

Julie and my five children (each with his/her own smartphone) constantly teased me about my Blackberry on many topics:

“Dad, you cannot get ‘apps’ on that thing.”  (I decided that I didn’t need ‘apps’; I just did emails.)

“Dad, the pictures on your BB are terrible!”  (I only took about one picture a month, and the pictures looked fine to me!)

“Dad, it’s much easier to text on a smartphone.”  (I prefer email or actually speaking to someone on the phone 😉 )

“Dad, I cannot ‘Facetime’ you.”  (Not sure what that is, but you can always call me.)

“Dad, I cannot “SnapChat” you.  (Wasn’t really sure what that was either and didn’t give it much thought — until I learned the company went public earlier this month at a $24 BILLION market capitalization!!!)

Whenever I mentioned to my friend and HarryKraemer.org colleague, Khalid Ali, that I really had no need for a smartphone, he always smiled and softly responded, “Harry, we really need to talk.” 😉

So, what happened last week!?!?!?!?!?! As you can see in the picture below, yes, it happened. I actually turned off my beloved BB and purchased an iPhone:

My daughter Shannon’s immediate reaction said it all: “Welcome to the FUTURE, Dad…we’ve all been waiting for you!!!”

I admit that this change will take a while to get used to. For example, I learned that I can now insert cartoons into my emails. (The children were quick to point out: “No, dad, those aren’t cartoons. They are ’emojis’.” Who came up with that word anyway?!)

So why did I give in and change to an iPhone? Some might say I had no choice. All of my colleagues at Madison Dearborn had made the switch, and my friends in IT let me know they were “pulling the plug” soon, which to me meant they were about to turn off my oxygen. If I was going to continue to receive emails, it wouldn’t be on my BB. Also, Khalid told me he would stop working with me if I didn’t dispose of my BB.

But I need to come clean and admit that I finally did see the value in making the change. Three examples immediately come to mind:

  1. Khalid’s urging that I could communicate much more effectively with my students and colleagues using iPhone apps for Facebook, LinkedIn, and maybe even Twitter.
  2. Using GPS is a lot more convenient than running into gas stations to ask for directions (you can imagine the awkward looks I’ve gotten doing that in this day and age!).
  3. After a recent dinner with 40 colleagues in San Francisco, everyone pulled out their smartphones and jetted out on Uber rides… while I waited a half hour for a cab!

So, yes, it was time.

Reading this many of you may be thinking: “Wow, Harry really has joined the future! No more ancient technology for this hip guy!” But not quite so fast…! Let me introduce you to my other favorite device, one that may be alien to many of my younger students and the older ones may not realize this technology still exists. I keep it a secret that not many folks know about (until now). No, not my BB. The device I am describing is very small, very convenient, can easily slip into a very small pocket, and needs very little battery charging. I can use it to make calls at the same time as I am reviewing emails and documents on my new iPhone. It’s called a Motorola flip phone:

I intend to keep this beauty with me ALWAYS.  So, maybe we should really call my transition “Back to the Future” 😉


Here’s wishing all of you a great Spring!!!