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Get your final Crackberry fix, Mr. Obama

One thing I never thought about until it entered the news cycle today is the fact that Barack Obama, who is intensely connected via web, email, and mobile electronic communication (mainly via his Blackberry) to the world around him, will probably have to give up having email and messaging altogether once he enters the presidency. This means no more Blackberry.

The president essentially forfeits all privacy when it comes to his written communication because of the Presidential Records Act of 1978. Evidently George W. Bush sent a final email from his AOL account in January of 2001 and has supposedly not sent personal email since.

The law certainly does not forbid the president from using email. But, unfortunately, it is a political reality that doing so could create tremendous liability from those seeking to damage the president in any way, because that kind of privacy is no longer his right.

Obama has made no secret of his dependence on his Blackberry, and I completely understand. Once you have that kind of connection power, it is hard to stay away from. Handling email becomes a matter of stopping at a red light for 30 seconds. In between plays in the middle of the stadium, you immediately have the running scores of every other football game in the nation. I repeatedly send texts to 45 people at a time announcing social plans that have come up on the spur of the moment. Pulling the phone out of the pocket and clicking the Gmail icon simply becomes a habitual behavior, kind of like holding a cigarette. My first move after opening my eyes in the morning now is reaching over for the Blackberry on the nightstand, which is linked up to my home WiFi. I don't even have to walk over to my laptop. It's a tremendous acheivement in the cultural drive for instant gratification through instant, anywhere information. It's amazing.

So, to have to give up that kind of personal access at any moment and to have to funnel all of my communication through others would be a tough adjustment. You have my respect and sympathy in your upcoming detoxification withdrawals, Mr. Obama. I'll understand if your aids catch you slouched in a corner of the White House, shaking and pale, pounding out hundreds of texts on a black market Blackberry. It's just a part of the recovery process.


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Blogger Ruth - 5:33 PM

Yeah.... it's a little scary how dependent I have become on my blackberry. In the morning my alarm goes off, then my blackberry alarm goes off. I check my e-mail, check to see who's already on IM for work, and THEN get out of bed....

Remember back in the olden days of dial up? of waiting 20 minutes for a connection, and then another 10 minutes for the home page to load? Oh, how far we've come. And now poor Obama has to give it all up for the presidency :(    



Blogger Jessica - 9:24 AM

Yeah, I read this after hitting snooze on the alarm clock and pullng my phone off my nightstand. You know, because so much happens in the 8 hours in the middle of the night that I'm sleeping I MUST check e-mail and blogs before I shower in the morning.

If I were Obama, I'd consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to go to Blackberry rehab!    



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