I remember when I got my first BlackBerry in 2010 and saw BBM for the first time. I thought, what is this? How little I knew of the app at that time and how quickly was I surprised, amazed and intrigued with its capabilities. The best thing I remember, was figuring out the fact that since BBM used data it could be used on Wi-Fi with no need of cellular reception. I realized then that this would be the game changer. Side note – again folks I was a late comer to the smartphone game! However, what I did not realize was how the app would impact my life for the better in the years to come.
Just one year later my wife and I separated. Not how you think though; I supported her leaving our home to attend university for one last time (I hoped) to chase her dream. With this separation, we wanted to be in constant communication above and beyond any normal marriage. We were not too scared, as we were already used to the long-distance game but nonetheless it is always a stressor. During her third year, my wife was in a rural setting as a part of her program and unfortunately her apartment was on edge of cellular reception. Luckily BBM was there for the rescue. We immediately established her Wi-Fi, therefore connecting us again. It was incredibly important to be able to send a simple message to keep connected during these long periods apart. BBM was there to keep us communicating when cell reception and therefore SMS failed us for her program’s entire third year.
Another key period of my life when BBM came to rescue was just prior to Christmas 2014. Being a government employee I tend to travel for work often. Generally, it's within Canada - but at times it's abroad. This time I was away for a four-week period travelling to multiple countries on work-related business. Therefore, instead of being out of contact or having to reply upon purchasing expensive SIM cards for the countries I visited, I simply logged into various Wi-FI access points and used BBM to keep her up to date in my travels. As well, with the increased Wi-FI availability across the world it almost seemed like I had cellular reception at times. Finally, BBM voice was a godsend. Often the Wi-Fi speeds at hotels or cafés are not strong enough for BBM video or Skype calls. So instead I would use BBM Voice and talk to my wife. Since it's only voice and not video, it does not require nearly as much bandwidth as the formers. Thus, I was able to talk to her just like a regular phone call. Ultimately, BBM helped us keep connected during those four weeks travelling and even made my wife at times feel like she was with me as I was constantly sending photos of my travels.
However, our use of BBM does not stop there. Between us, we have our own BBM group and use its features regularly. If we want to share photos between us for comments (not those kind of photos), we will use the photo gallery aspect of the group. The lists aspect we use for shopping lists, chores responsibilities and even Christmas gift purchases. BBM is constantly being used to keep us organized.
Finally, I’d like to point that my wife even uses an iPhone 5S. With BBM being cross-platform now, there is no reason not to include your significant others in your mix. These were just a couple of ways of how BBM has helped my life, now it’s your turn.