Most people in the United States already are aware President Barrack Obama wanted to retain use of his personal BlackBerry phone, but secret service felt such a move could jeopardize security.For those of us with his same passion for staying in touch, the modern cellular phone has become nearly as important as any number of appendages on one’s body.
It seems everyone has personal thoughts regarding the new president of the United States.
After enduring all those opinions, I decided I would devote this space to the discussion of something completely different: the new president’s personal cell phone.
Most people in the United States already are aware President Barrack Obama wanted to retain use of his personal BlackBerry phone, but secret service felt such a move could jeopardize security.
For those of us with his same passion for staying in touch, the modern cellular phone has become nearly as important as any number of appendages on one’s body.
Actually, it’s probably more important for some teenagers, who use the devises as an actual extension of their ears.
I use mine for connecting with family and co-workers through its intended use or e-mail. I also receive erroneous text messages from someone who, after numerous replies, still does not believe my name is not Paige.
Recently, when President Obama spoke about possibly losing his private Verizon Wireless BlackBerry, he explained a need to remain in touch with people.
“I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”
It’s a need I would also share.
Years ago, when cellular phones were known as “communicators” and only appeared in scenes from Star Trek, the rest of us stationed in America’s living rooms were forced to use the now antiquated “land line” when contacting people farther away than one room.
I recall more than one occasion when I even used a pencil and wide-lined notebook paper to draft letters that were delivered to relatives and friends via the postal service.
But today, without my cell phone, I’m hopelessly disconnected from people as close as around the corner from my office.
It hasn’t changed the helplessness I feel when trying to communicate with my daughter, however. Her text messaging is some foreign form of “cyber-jawing” that leaves me wondering if she is carrying on a friendly conversation with friends or is in the grip of a medical emergency and seeks help.
Perhaps those random letters are simply an encryption to prevent parents from reading all the latest happenings in the world of teen.
In my realm of understanding text message abbreviations, I’m still trying to grasp LOL as meaning something more than an abbreviation for “lollygag.”
Those people who are text-message experts know it really means, “laugh out loud.”
For President Obama, a “super-secure” BlackBerry has been confirmed as his new phone, although White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said at a news conference, it “allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends.”
Part of the compromise for keeping a personal cell phone was the president giving up his old e-mail address and switching to a new, secret one.
I wondered who might be included in a presidential calling circle.
If I were president, I would take “senior staff” to mean the vice president, secretary of state and my wife.
Everyone knows there is no more “senior” staff than one’s wife.
I might also like to include my children, my dad, a best friend and the office on my phone plan. It would be interesting to see who makes the cut for the president, however. Whoever it is, I hope the secret service took in account the many challenges in cell phone providers.
I’d hate to see a large contingent of people following him from place to place — like the ones on television. While he might have all his calling bars, I bet it would jeopardize security, also.
Ken Knepper is publisher of The Newton Kansan. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.