Why We Won’t Jump on the BBM Bandwagon

Some of us (OK, maybe one or two) on the Notable.ca team remain loyal BlackBerry users. But it’s not for its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services. In fact, we dropped BBM over a year ago, after the whole thing became “too much.” So, why the Berry when we don’t even use its one redeeming feature? The iPhone, while shiny, new, app-friendly and cool, didn’t allow us the freedom to type emails and articles so readily on the go like we used to/need to as writers. We needed the keyboard. So we switched back. Here’s why we didn’t switch back to BBM, though, and why we will resist the jumping back on the bandwagon.

Do we really need to be more connected to people we don’t need to be?
Have you noticed how many BBM requests you’ve had in the past few days from people you haven’t spoken with since you last had BBM (because you went and put your PIN on Facebook), and that you’re okay going another three years not speaking with? You know who we’re talking about… those acquaintances that you would have all but forgotten about had social media not happened. Back in the day, we can clearly recall fellow young professionals (YPs) trying to add and accumulate as many BBM contacts as they could in some sort of competition that allowed bragging rights to those with over 100 contacts. Really, what’s the point? It’s not Twitter.

It makes us too accessible
Between email, social media and text messages, do we really need to be even more accessible? What irritated us most about BBM is that friends, family and significant others would often see it as an open invitation for constant communication (or bombardment) throughout the workday. Some feel that, just because the instant messaging service is now perpetually at the fingertips, it means they can engage in a back and forth conversation that will inevitably last longer than it needs to. Not to mention, people expect quick response times with instant messaging (keyword: instant), get upset or agitated when they see you’ve read the message, and may become even more persistent with things like PINGs and emoticons. It’s annoying. 

It wastes time
Not only do texts allow for more response time than a BBM message (once it has been received), you generally send one text message, maybe two, but everything you have to say can be contained within the confines of that text message. If not, pick up the phone and call. So much time is already wasted on written communication (emails, social media and texts) and picking up the phone and chatting for five minutes can often be equal to the exchange of dozens of emails or a lengthy BBM string. This is especially the case in business. BBM is less formal than a text message and invites more feeble banter, and inefficient BBM banter can waste hours of your precious day. Unless, of course, you have too much time on your hands.

It makes us even more narcissistic
We young professionals love taking pictures of ourselves in all our glory and posting them on one of our multiple social media channels. We really don’t need another outlet for status updates, picture posting and keeping people informed with our lives. When we were last on BBM, we clearly remember a contact asking us why we don’t just use Twitter since we updated our status so often. He had a point. News flash: Nobody cares where you are or what you’re doing at all moments of the day. Some BBM contacts are downright annoying, posting a new perfectly-posed selfie each morning and updating their status four or five times daily… everything from bragging to keeping contacts informed with their every move. We get it; you’re pretty and your life is perpetually “perfect.” 

Sure, there are pros to BBM, especially if you have friends across borders. We’ve all received that shockingly expensive phone bill post-travel or, by testing out a long distance relationship, know how expensive texting is between countries. In general, though, we personally just don’t see the appeal and, though we remain faithful to our Q10 (initial operating system glitch and all aside), we won’t join YPs in the BBM world anytime soon.