I have been getting a lot of broadcast messages on my Blackberry lately, and to be frank, it’s aggravating, especially when the message is irrelevant, or worse, lame. I completely understand that the BB Messenger was expressly created to send messages, but the question is: What kind of message should you send using the broadcast service?
The thing about broadcast messages is that they are essentially mass messages. For instance, I have friends who like to send information on automotive sales. They surely know I don’t have my own car and thus I don’t usually modify automobiles. Then, why would anyone send me this “Velg for Mercedes Benz on sale, type S-Class W140 — Ring 16 — PCD 5×112 [blah blah blah]. Contact me for more information.” I don’t even know what those numbers mean.
There are also people who like to broadcast encouraging messages, complete with cute emoticons, like: “Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean you can’t own the day today. :)”
Why would anyone broadcast anything like that? It’s a waste of the three seconds it takes to open it, and chances are most people will just delete it, and immediately. Plus, because this person is not Oprah, the message really doesn’t do anything, I guarantee you. Who needs that?
Words of encouragement should be directed at the person who needs them, like someone who just lost a loved one, someone who just went through a break-up, someone who just failed the SAT’s, etc. But not, I repeat NOT, to everyone! In fact, sending the “encouragement” to a specific someone would make the message sound more sincere and personalized. Or, why not send positive admirations on Twitter or Facebook? At least the post won’t make your phone vibrate and make people think that an important, urgent message is coming through.
I also get messages that tell a terribly sad story about someone who died of cancer, about a child who was separated from their parents or a woman who died in an accident while taking her son to school. It’s fine to broadcast these only if, at the end of the story, the message offers ways to help the family. But if it only says “broadcast this message if you love your mother and father,” DO NOT SEND!
Excuse me? If I love my parents, I would work my butt off to do well and make them happy. I would be a good person and buy them a big house with a huge garden. But what I wouldn’t do is broadcast messages to show people I love them.
So, unless your life is in danger (like if a pack of zombies is chasing you), or unless you are promoting a charity, or maybe letting people know there’s a natural disaster happening and your message would save lives, please, don’t use the service. It’s super annoying.
Use Twitter and Facebook instead. Don’t make people have to open their phones because of an inane broadcast message saying, “the day is going to be fine.” I hate to break it to you, but you are not God.
And folks from RIM, will you guys ever create a set up that can block the broadcast message? I think you guys should.