The BlackBerry has become the fanny pack of the white collar set. Gentlemen, let me be the first to tell you that you look like a tool with your BlackBerry visibly clipped to your belt. Even worse, women think so too (see the comments on PDAs on belts in “Undateable: 311 Things That Guys Do That Guarantees They Won’t Be Dating or Having Sex”, by Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle, which is available here).
I’m really at a loss as to the motivation for guys doing this. Is it to show off the fact that they have a PDA? In the modern world where BlackBerrys are available free with a contract and every teenage girl seems to have one, they no longer provide much in the way of status. Do you want to show how busy you are; that you need to have your PDA literally at your fingertips, quick draw style, at all times? This is actually a bit sad; most powerful people I know are a bit tough to reach and part of their power comes from not always being available. Do you not like things in your pocket? If so, where do you keep your car keys and wallet, and is looking like a jackass worth not finding an alternative home for your phone? The reasoning for the holster is lost on me.
As a guy that has to carry around the RIM Handcuffs (aka my BlackBerry), to the point where I might be more comfortable leaving the house without underwear than leaving without my ‘Berry, I can tell you first hand that you don’t need to holster it. You’re not Val Kilmer in Tombstone – put the thing in your pocket, on the table or in your briefcase. Even better, most modern suits have a pocket in the jacket, usually on the left side, near the bottom meant for PDAs. Unless you’re wearing skinny jeans or a bathing suit, I’m hard-pressed to find a situation where one of those options wouldn’t be available, particularly your pocket. And, if you are wearing skinny jeans or a bathing suit, I think the BlackBerry would spoil the look even more than normal.
So the next time you reach for your BlackBerry holster like you’re heading for a gun fight at the OK Corral, think twice and put it some place else… There’s really no faster, easier or cheaper style upgrade than that.