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Technology-induced mini-breaks

Earlier this week, I was particularly grateful that I had made the switch from a BlackBerry to a Droid.

That’s not to say I hadn’t been happy about the switch before. It’s quite handy to have a Droid, with its fully-functional Internet, while sitting in a partner’s office on a conference call.

In fact, my Droid often lets me browse the Internet faster than my desktop computer will (as does my iPad, but that’s a story for another day).

Don’t get me started about how awesome it is to be able to get usable directions and turn-by-turn navigation on my phone.  And, the Droid Pro’s tiny, green alert light is infinitely less jarring than the giant, red flashing light on my old BlackBerry Curve.

That said, there were things that I missed about my BlackBerry. I missed the seamless calendar synching. I missed the totally reliable, instantaneous email service. And I missed its ability to vibrate so loudly that, even if I had left it on vibrate (which I nearly always did), I could still hunt it down by calling from another phone.

My Droid, while awesome, acts more like a PC. Its battery life could be better. It has occasional kinks that need be worked out. It likes to be updated frequently. Sometimes, it stops automatically loading my work email.

I know some people who were disconcerted by these issues, and went back to their BlackBerry for reliable email service and better battery life. And some moved on to try the iPhone.

But 99 percent of these issues can be resolved by just rebooting. In fact, it occasionally reboots itself. And I’m okay with that.

And, to resolve the battery life issues, I’ve downloaded an app that manages the phone’s connections so it syncs with my work email only about every 15 minutes during the day; less frequently at night. (If anyone I work with is reading this, not to worry — if I’m working on anything time-sensitive, I manually pull emails at regular intervals or enable real-time syncing).

No matter what camp you are in, I’m sure you heard about this week’s dramatic BlackBerry server outage.  Apparently, it was the longest/worst ever. While BlackBerry outages apparently happen several times per year, they usually last for less than a day.

Naturally, some people were outraged. It spurred some people — and companies — to consider their options.  Some gloated or cracked jokes. And others said it was “heaven” to have a break from the constant contact.

Personally, I think there is something to be said for the mini-break from being in constant contact with the rest of the world.  Three days off may be a bit much for most of us, but I’ve come to actually appreciate the fact that my Droid doesn’t always instantaneously sync with my email. Although I can still control those breaks. Most of the time.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)