Friday, October 2, 2009

Book Review: The Blackberry Diaries by Kathy Buckworth


Recently, the makers of the Blackberry, RIM (Research In Motion), sent me a copy of a new book, by author Kathy Buckworth; a fellow Canadian and mom.  I was really eager to get started on this book, as I've been a "gadget geek" my whole life.  I grew up in Southern Ontario; not far from the home of RIM.  I've always loved computers, and loved being the first in my group of techie friends to carry new gadgets (I got the first cell phone, the first Palm, the first digital camera, the first PDA Smart phone, the first MP3 player, etc).  I even hold a bachelor's degree in IT.  So, when the opportunity arose to read a book about another busy mom's adventures in parenting with a Blackberry in hand, it sounded like something right up my alley!

Unfortunately, I'm about halfway through this book now, and I just can't even bring myself to finish it.  The Blackberry Diaries is actually the print version of a blog that Kathy Buckworth created; chronicling one year of her life, from the adoption of "Seamus", her new Blackberry.  This isn't a technical blog, and certainly not one that compiles a list of useful resources, tools, hints, and tips for all moms to try to simplify their lives.  Instead, it is honestly a rambling, nonsensical, self-centered, and pointless collection of random musings, by a woman who doesn't seem to want to grow up, and one who doesn't appreciate what she has in life.

Several times, Buckworth refers to "Seamus", as her "fifth child", and draws comparisons as to how much better this fifth child is than her other four real children.  Is this woman for real?  Every child is precious!  Yes, they have their annoying moments, but they also bring an unbelievable amount of joy and love into our lives.  They are your flesh and blood!  They look up to you for everything -- for affection, direction, guidance, and friendship.  Yet, the message from this woman appears to be that she would much rather tune out and play BrickBreaker.  And don't even think of showing your children how to play BrickBreaker on your Blackberry, or you might not get it back, she says.  On that note, she also warns not to share your Blackberry at all, or your peers might see just how "un-loved" you are, because you have fewer messages than they do.  Oh pu-lease!!  There are starving children in the world, and this is what this woman concerns herself with.

Buckworth is glued to her Blackberry, and has little to no qualms about reaching for it, anytime she gets a new message alert; no matter where she might be, and how inappropriate of a time it may be to do so (like, while driving).  She even fantasizes about a larger screen at eye-level in her car, for the purpose of reading and driving at the same time.  {Kathy, for the safety of everyone in Southern Ontario, please put the damn Blackberry away and concentrate on the road.  I think we'd all appreciate that, including my friends and family living in and around Mississauga, not to mention your own family, who despite your views of them, probably still loves you.}

If that wasn't enough, Buckworth even makes mention of another parent yelling at her to put her Blackberry away.  Is Buckworth really this out of control?  I carried around a Palm phone for years, and hubby has gone through a few Smart phones himself, and just like anything you do in life, use your common sense and manners, which Buckworth seems to lack.

My overall impression from reading these blog entries, is that Buckworth finds very little joy in day-to-day life.  She seems to use her Blackberry as an escape mechanism.  She seems like a bored, fidgety twelve-year-old, who was handed a Nintendo DS.  How about interacting with other parents and making some friends?  That's how most of us other parents do it; we interact, we socialize, we vent, and we support each other.  Then maybe she wouldn't have to blog about having too much red wine to get over her horrible day, and then be subject to a hangover the next day, which she inflicted upon herself.

RIM, I thank you for the opportunity to review this book.  However, did you know this is what Kathy Buckworth was going to write about when you asked her to take on this project?  Did you really want to associate your product with this kind of disengaged, self-important, distracted, unappreciative lifestyle?  And coming from a mother of four, no doubt!  I really was hoping to enjoy this book, but sadly, it's left a rather sour taste in my mouth.  I do still believe that Smart phones can be helpful tools, but for goodness sake, they are not a substitute for someone's apparent lack of self-esteem and goals in life.

On a "green" note, 30% of this book was made from recycled material.  On an even greener note, it's about to be 100% recycled, and hopefully into something more useful, like toilet paper.




Blackberry Diaries book image courtesy of Amazon.com

6 comments:

  1. "On a "green" note, 30% of this book was made from recycled material. On an even greener note, it's about to be 100% recycled, and hopefully into something more useful, like toilet paper."

    That's hilarious! LMAO! Great Review! :D

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  2. Loved your review! Sounds like I'll skip this one!

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  3. Seriously, despite your negative review, I wouldn't mind giving it a read--what about a book giveaway?

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  4. Thanks Mar and Chele *hugs* ;)

    Angel, thank you for reading my review. Honestly, I wouldn't even consider subjecting another human being to this book. LOL!

    I'm all for reading for fun, and I do love reading about other mothers' adventures. When I was a new mom, I particularly enjoyed "The Girlfriends' Guides" series from author Vicki Iovine. Now she is someone I would like to be friends with. Iovine is easy to relate to, knows how to laugh at herself, and comes across as confident and intelligent. Much more than I can say about the schmuck who wrote The Blackberry Diaries.

    Angel, I'm going to wager that RIM has plenty of copies of this book to give away. If you really, REALLY still want a copy, I'd say give them a call.

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  5. My first reaction to your review was...
    Throw that book out the window!
    Because you are the Green, Organic, Mama...
    Put it in the recycling bin!
    That lady is a tool.

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  6. It's funny how things happen all at once :)

    The fabulous moms over at TheMotherhood.com, have joined forces with fellow mom bloggers to bring awareness unsafe, distracted driving! I've proudly joined their team of mom ambassadors!

    Here's how to pledge your support as well!

    6,000 pounds of steel, going 35 MPH can cause some serious damage! We all need to keep our minds on the wheel!

    Faye @ GreenOrganicMama.com

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