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BlackBerry: Why breaking up is hard to do

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Struggling BlackBerry announces it plans to become a private company
  • CNN's Kristie Lu Stout refuses to let go of her BlackBerry device
  • But she says other smartphones offer better apps, functionality

Editor's note: A self-described media junkie, China nerd and geek mom -- Kristie Lu Stout is also an anchor/correspondent for CNN International. Join her on News Stream, each weekday at 8pm Hong Kong time, 1pm London, 8am New York.

Hong Kong (CNN) -- I can't even remember the last time I thumbed a message on its itty-bitty qwerty keyboard.

And yet, I stubbornly keep my BlackBerry in my bag and on my desk, fully charged.

As with my Palm Vx of yesterday, breaking up with a beloved gadget is hard to do, especially when you have history.

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My BlackBerry and I go back over 10 years. We met at a telecom conference in Hong Kong. I will never forget the wonder of our first wireless e-mail.

Look, I'm no softie when it comes to loving and leaving my electronics. I've thrown out old Macs. I've recycled expired Sony Ericsson handsets. I've even trashed now-antique digital cameras.

But this is the longest and saddest gadget breakup I've ever gone through.

I can no longer accept its limits: A disappointing apps portfolio, clunky interface, and frankly lame camera.

Over the years, we grew apart. I started to dabble in social media and mobile photography. The tools on offer from other devices were far better in functionality, speed and resolution. I wanted my BlackBerry to change, and yet it never managed to deliver.

And suddenly, I felt like it just wasn't there for me.

I have stopped using the beloved device. But like the other 50 million BlackBerry users still out there, I just can't pull the plug.

Read more: BlackBerry's dwindling users ponder uncertain future

As with others suffering relationship issues in the digital age, I turned to social media for advice.

"Make it quick. Drop it in the tub. Better for both of you," advised Beijing blogger Bill Bishop.

Michael Sommer tweeted, "If it's not wounded or sick, no mercy killing. Put it into a vitrine."

After looking up the word "vitrine," I realized that putting an expired gadget in a glass box is like taxidermy for a deceased pet. Sorry. Just can't go there.

But not everyone was as keen to ditch the BlackBerry.

My ever-compassionate colleague John Vause said, "Don't do it... it will get better... I promise."

On Monday, BlackBerry announced that it was being taken private -- a headline that raised hopes among loyalists that change is sure to come.

Meanwhile, my pal Eunice Yoon implored me to keep hope alive with the reminder, "the typing is so much easier!"

But the doubt has already settled in, and I'm already starting to see my BlackBerry in the past tense.

"Just for fun, I fire up my circa 2005 Treo 750 sometimes," reminisced J. L. Gatewood.

That's one beautiful ode to throwback gadgetry. BlackBerry, I'm not quite ready to throw you out. You remain fully charged.

Opinion: Why I'll never ditch my Blackberry

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