Posted by: Wolfe on Oct 14, 2011
It's with great....who am I kidding.....let me rephrase....It's with little interest that I read the posts and comments with regards to the recent BB BooBoo. Being a BlackBerry owner I heard my fair share of jokes....well...most of them almost made it to level high enough to be classified as a joke anyway....
I heard all the conspiracy theories, like the one where BIS was shut down due to it governments not being able to access BBM.
However, what prompted this post was the comment made by Charmed about how upset she gets when people say it's just a phone. This got me thinking........
Most "verbal" users on MyDL are technology evangelists....some of them have to be...it would be pretty lame working for an IT associated company if you thought technology had negatives....let's face it...it's your job to promote it.
Firstly, let's keep in mind that the problem was with the BIS, not the actual phone. I have my 3rd BB handset and have never had a problem. Then again, I don't pretend to be a super user, giving me the arrogant vanity to upload tons of apps to show how cool it is, only to slate the phone afterwards for crashing.
So many sa result of the BIS being down were....LOST.....unable to function....almost suicidal, judging by the emotion in their comments & posts across the media.
Seriously.....pathetic don't you think?
I agree, we are all entitled to rely on technology today to the point where a BB with BIS becomes your only Business Tool. However, being entitled to an expectation doesn't mean that you need to be unrealistic about it and put all your eggs in one digital basket.
Technology such as BIS has made us stupid and stingy. During the outage I was unable to reach my family via the usual BBM and felt like many..."lost". Yet, the option to SMS was still available, but I honestly did not think of it. I could phone....I have free minutes...but again...didn't think of it. At the end of day two it struck me that I still had access to primitive technologies like SMS. Not to mention the stone age e-mail function my PC hides in a virtual corner. Uhm....how do you type proper sentences again??
I think it is rather naive for any "geek" to be upset by an outage as such emotion lends itself to the perception that technology today is without possible error and fault. Any company that suffers such an outage is to be considered incompetent.
I admit that I am upset about the outage, not only because it highlighted the fact that technology has taken away common sense and instilled a cyber dependency in me, but also due to the fact that certain channels of communication were not available to me, not to mention the fact that I couldn't lie in the bath scrolling the news (over share...I know). I am however not upset with RIM.
The possibility of lost revenue as result of the outage was probably more terrifying to RIM than the lack of BIS were to the users. One can assume that as result they would have done everything in their power to avoid the outage and to restore it.
I have just received an SMS from them where they have allocated a R10 credit via MTN to my account to apologise for the inconvenience. It's only R10, but.....
- When MTN and Vodacom both experienced network problems that affected all Internet and Communication services (even BIS), did users make such a big fuss over it? Not that I can recall.....did I get any form of credit as an apology for the inconvenience? Nope....
At the end the BIS outage achieved the following for me and globally:
- It gave conspiracy theorist new material
- It highlighted how dependent some people are on technology and at the same time made some of those very same people realise that there is life beyond technology. An extra minute playing with your child....perhaps an extra hour during which you got to experience the sun...(remember that bright thing in the sky? Not? Yeah...it's outside your cave...)
- It gave RIM the opportunity to ensure the same thing never happens again and to invest in some great PR...
- It gave iPhone fanatics a chance to point and laugh at a service they don't have.....and probably wish they had.....
I was quite pleased when the BIS was restored....however, my excitement was short lived as I find myself already irritated a few hours later, by the constant bleeps and notifications clogging up my screen with new status updates (Yay!! I get to when people are happy...sad...bored...on their way home....tired.....) I find myself now carrying my phone around like an infant, instead of just leaving it on the kitchen counter.
Life is back to normal.....or is it?