Nina In New York: Me & My CrackBerry

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

I am a cell phone addict. I can admit it. And after holding out for as long as possible, I finally got a BlackBerry (don’t even talk to me about Smartphones, please), and am now addicted to all the conveniences that offers. Like having my coworkers and bosses at fingertip’s length no matter where I am or what time it is. Why, that is super convenient.

I am pretty sure there was a time in our lives when we could walk more than two blocks without our fingers itching for our phones. When one party arriving at a destination did not determine the length of the conversation. When personal silence wasn’t something I valued or dreaded – it just was. So much so that I actually wrote an ill-conceived editorial for my high school newspaper decrying cell phones, lamenting the havoc they would inevitably wreak on our lives and interpersonal relationships, and predicting that “they would never catch on!” Er.


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At least I’m not alone in my bad habit, though that’s not necessarily for the greater good. I walk outside my midtown office and the streets are filled with people babbling away like mental patients, some loud, some laughing, some yelling and fuming, all reeling around the sidewalks like a bunch of drunk drivers. And speaking of those, I hope they’re paying attention. Because we’re all as good as target practice now, charging across the street like Mr. Magoo after a sixer of Stag beer (his brew of choice).

I’ve tried to control and test myself, take walks without reaching for my cell. I think my record is ten blocks before I crack. Is this the worst thing in the world? No. It’s certainly better that most of us don’t have to get behind the wheel of a car. A careless pedestrian is totally annoying, but nothing compared to the alternative.

I haven’t even touched on the whole worry over whether these phones are going to fry our brain cells versus how incredibly fatuous earpieces and headsets make us look. That is just a lose-lose situation.

On the bright side to all this, at least we’re chattier than ever! And who doesn’t like a chatty group? Nobody, that’s who. Chatty people are fun. So fun! I’ve gotta go, I’ll call you on my way to the bathroom, okay? Okay.

Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

The Nina Archives:

An Ode To Seamless Web

Kitchen Nightmares

Home Sweet JFK

Thank You, Law & Order

Rites Of Spring



  • haywood jablowme

    can wait for the sex video chat to come out….. what a way to use break time at work

  • D.Michael

    Fascinating topic! Please read Sherry Turkle’s “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other” This book goes into detail about this very issue.

    • Nina in NY

      Thanks! I’ll have to check it out.

  • Cribblyd

    Yupp. Heard a women on the train the other day talking to her boyfriend. SHe hangs up and then starts talking her husband about picking up her kids. She tells both of them she misses them and loves them….!!!

    Awesome, she is able to have two guys going at the same time. SHe was a hot little number too.

  • Eltie

    The worst part of it is when you actually hear the tedious things people are saying on these phones. “I’m walking down Madison now.” “I’m on Bleecker near some store.” “I think we got cut off.” “Can you hear me?” “This connection sucks. Can I call you back?”

  • Terry T

    Having refused this type of communication, I cannot understand why everyone feels they are compelled to respond to anyone who decides to call you at a particular minute, or decides they have to send you an email message, and you feel it mandatory to respond right away. The better way I suggest for every one is, check these devices for communications every 2 hours. People can go to voice mail the emails will just have to wait. Don’t even get me started with texting. If you’re over 12 years old, you shouldn’t be texting.

  • Charlotte

    So well said! We are all so addicted to our phones. I do have to say I spent three weeks in Europe with no phone or e-mail and it was very freeing. I promised myself after I came back that I would be less addicted, but of course haven’t been able to control myself.

  • Jennifer T

    My name is Jennifer and I am a crackberry-holic too!

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