Predictions 2005: The Day of the Blackberries

January 1, 2005

My prediction for 2005 is that John Wyndham’s work of 1950s science fiction in which we are invaded by fast-reproducing vegetation, will be recognised as a remarkable prophecy. For triffids, read blackberries. The advance guard of insidious little portable communication devices now populating sections of the legal community will turn into a full scale invasion and all our defences will be overrun.

The vaguely discomfiting sign-off:


Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld”

will be seen more and more. We will not be concentrating on the message but rather speculating on what the sender was actually doing and breaking off from. Just as a crack dealer will provide free samples to hook a vulnerable client base, so the brilliant marketing ploy of a trial period will convince all who take it up that this is an indispensable tool.

You walk into the office in the morning. But you already know what your email is. You’re stuck on a train. But you can communicate your valuable thoughts and advice to an eager world. You’re in court listening to interminable legal argument. But you’re still connected. You, like the BlackBerry, are always on.

I still have visions of entire meetings of lawyers sitting round conference tables, surreptitiously communing with their Blackberries and not with each other. And inevitably a parody of a sixties pop tune forms in my mind, half unbidden but I’ll finish it soon and maybe even perform it to a selected audience. To the tune of “Blackberry Way”, Roy Wood’s 1969 classic with The Move, altogether now:

“Put your Blackberry away,

I can’t see you, I don’t need you

Put your Blackberry away,

Sure to want you back another day…”

My message for next year, for me and all those who use one is: control it, don’t let it control you. But I surely want one…!