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Millennials Are Reminiscing About The Blackberry Glory Days As The Phones Get Switched Off Forever

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Millennials Are Reminiscing About The Blackberry Glory Days As The Phones Get Switched Off Forever

This week Millennials were dealt a shocking blow with the news that BlackBerry mobile phones would stop working forever.

While most BlackBerry phones are gathering dust somewhere in drawers and bedrooms, the news was still a nostalgia trip. The company announced on Tuesday its classic handheld devices will no longer be able to use data, send text messages, use the internet or make phone calls after years of sales declines.

It marked the end of an era in which we saw the old school phones with a full QWERTY keyboard officially die.

The very first BlackBerry came out in 1999 and while it was originally a top mobile companion for professionals who wanted the same tools they had on a desktop computer, like a full keyboard, on the go it soon became a status symbol.

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The phones also established themselves as a fashion accessory, with the top reality stars and celebs from the 2000s and early 2010s, like Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton pictured with their BlackBerry phones in hand. 

Kim Kardashian living her best life while using a BlackBerry (Credit: Shutterstock)
Kim Kardashian living her best life while using a BlackBerry (Credit: Shutterstock)

It wasn’t long before teens and young adults were begging their parents for their own BlackBerry. One of the most attractive functions for any young person growing up in the ever growing world of social media was BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), the encrypted text messaging platform was the WhatsApp for a generation before WhatsApp even existed.

When Francesca Smith, 28, from London, was a teenager in secondary school, the only thing she wanted for her birthday was a BlackBerry to message her friends on BBM.

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She was lucky enough to get one when she turned 14 after pleading with her mum to get her the Curve model. As soon as she unboxed it and popped the SIM card inside she shared her BBM pin, the unique code to allow other BlackBerry users to message you, with her pals. 

“It was my very first phone. I still remember my BBM pin to this day but I’m not going to share it just in case!” she laughs.

BlackBerry phones were 'hot' (Credit: Shutterstock)
BlackBerry phones were 'hot' (Credit: Shutterstock)

Francesca had two BlackBerry models before making the switch to Apple’s iPhone around 2013. During BlackBerry’s heyday, touchscreens were still quite unusual on the phone market and expensive. 

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“It almost feels like the trend came and went so quickly. Before I knew it all of my friends had iPhones and then everyone spoke on Snapchat. It’s quite sad to see BlackBerry gone for good. They’ll always remind me of secondary [school].

Abigail Rowling, 27, from Oxford also said the phones will always remind her school. With the power of BBM, she was part of all of her friend’s group chats, saw relationship updates, both good and bad, and could easily send pictures to her mates without having to worry about paying to send them as a text.

Abigail was ‘obsessed’ with her older sister’s white BlackBerry Bold, one of the pricier models with extra features, and desperately wanted one of her own.

A white BlackBerry Bold model (Credit: Alamy)
A white BlackBerry Bold model (Credit: Alamy)
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Her parents instead bought her a pink ‘knock off’ version of a BlackBerry, which had a keyboard but was slow and didn’t have the same bragging points as the real thing.

“All of my friends had BlackBerry phones but my mum point black refused to get me one for the longest time. My parents caved and got me a cheap one, I can’t remember the name of the brand. It didn’t have BBM which was heartbreaking.”

She was able to save up enough money to buy an official BlackBerry in 2011 in white and decorated it with a bejewelled pink case. 

“I literally felt so cool when I finally got it, I was obsessed with it for the rest of secondary school. All my friends were on BBM and it felt like we were in our own little club.”

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Lady Gaga was no stranger to a BlackBerry mirror selfie (Credit: Lady Gaga/Twitter)
Lady Gaga was no stranger to a BlackBerry mirror selfie (Credit: Lady Gaga/Twitter)

Taylor Campbell, a 28-year-old PR account manager from Manchester, remembers the three BlackBerry models she had in detail; a Blackberry Curve 8310, Blackberry Curve 8520, Blackberry Curve 9630. The 8310 was given to her by her dad, which made her feel like “the coolest person in school”.

She adds: “Having a Blackberry was a status symbol at my school – it meant you were cool.”

BBM was also a ‘key selling point’ for Taylor and says she feels sad knowing that the youngsters of the future won’t get to experience the groundbreaking messaging service. “[BBM] didn’t eat into your monthly text allowance. So when WhatsApp came about, where you could chat ‘for free’ to people with all models of phones, BBM became outdated and didn’t have the same appeal.

“It’s sad to think about all the BBM conversations that will be lost and that youngsters won’t ever experience BBM’ing your best friend under the table at school."

R.I.P. BlackBerry, you'll forever be in our hearts!

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Technology, News, Life

Gregory Robinson
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