> Family > Mom with a View

Baseball and Blackberry

June 23, 2011 | by Emuna Braverman

Are you addicted?

Once a year we go to a baseball game. And this year was no exception. It’s among the few family-style entertainments still available in today’s culture (if you ignore the Kiss CAM and the de rigueur marriage proposal!). It’s quite beautiful, set among the hills and palm trees with the sun setting (we chose a recent weeknight game starting at 7:10 p.m.) and the air cool. We all had a great time.

There was only one small flaw in the evening. No, it wasn’t the traffic; the stadium was pretty empty and we got home quickly. It wasn’t the disruptive fans or too many peanuts! The real problem was that I brought my Blackberry.

I don’t even know why I did. It’s not like I was expecting a really important call or email. It’s not like my husband didn’t have his phone in case any of our children needed us.

There was no reason – other than bad habits and compulsiveness. Likewise, there was no reason – other than bad habits and compulsiveness – for me to continually glance down checking for messages.

In between plays, during plays, before conversations, mid-conversation (trying to be sly) – once it’s there, it’s hard to stop. That little red light blinks and my eyes are drawn downwards. It’s like the early days of AOL’s “You’ve got mail.”

And the really pathetic thing is that most emails are not important. Despite all my attempts to block spam and to unsubscribe, most of it is junk mail that doesn’t even merit that initial glance.

And even worse, I risk missing the moment I’m supposed to be experiencing and enjoying. This is rendered even more disturbing when I reflect that I always refused to bring a camera or camcorder to any of my children’s school presentations because I didn’t want to miss today’s performance in my desire to record it for posterity.

I don’t need my Blackberry with me at all times.

I certainly don’t want to miss today’s events and experiences and opportunities just to check my Blackberry! Even my children commented on its ubiquitous presence, as they were busy texting, of course. They seem to feel that their ability to multitask is superior to mine. And they’re probably right.

Whatever the reason, whatever the rationalization, I recognize that I made a mistake. I don’t need my Blackberry with me at all times. Especially when I’m out with my husband or with the family. It’s a distraction from where my attention should be. Everything will go on as it should even if I leave my phone at home. To paraphrase the song in My Fair Lady, “Without me spinning it, the world will spin.”

The Blackberry is supposed to be at tool to heighten communication. By bringing it along on a social or family occasion, I seem to have accomplished the exact opposite.

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