In defense of "Sent from my Blackberry-Treo-Sidekick wireless handheld."

Michael Silberman's picture



In defense of "Sent from my Blackberry-Treo-Sidekick wireless handheld."

I'd love to know what percentage Blackberry, Treo, and Sidekick users are aware that they can edit or disable this obnoxious signature from appearing on their emails. My bet is that most people, if presented with the choice, would and DO actually leave the tag on. Sadly, I speak from personal experience.

Why do we continue to willingly muck up our own communiqués with this free advertising? What does this say about us! Surely we'd protest if our mobile providers inserted a similar ad at the beginning or end of our phone calls: "This conversation powered by the Sprint Wireless Network." Totally unacceptable.

At first, I thought it was our vanity. It's tacky, yes, but some part of us wants everyone else to know that we've got the latest and greatest smartphone on the planet -- that we're part of that glorious techno-future enjoying seamless connectivity everywhere... ubiquitous computing! We can easily turn a blind eye to that signature setting and let our phone do the bragging on our behalf: "Note: You should know that the message above was sent to you from this hip dude who strapped a Blackberry Wireless Handheld to his belt. This guy's going places."

Then, of course, there's the theory that we're so important to our colleagues and to the success of our respective operations that our input might be needed at the drop of a hat any second that we're away from the desk. That "sent from" tag reminds folks exactly what type of person they're dealing with.

I'm happy to announce that both of the above theories can now be debunked, despite any truth that you may have seen in them. In fact, there are two highly rational reasons for keeping the cute little "Sent from my ___" message around:

First and foremost, it's our much-needed disclaimer. We require sort of cover for those curt, SMS-like notes we might shoot back in response to your thoughtful, well-articulated, multi-paragraph messages. It's not easy typing on those little keys, you know.

Second, it's our subtle little way of saying, "we care about you" (and we'd like some extra credit for that please). If we're responding to you from our phone or blackberry, it generally means that we're going out of our way to respond under some inconvenient circumstances. It's not like we took our phone to the cafe to catch up on email. We're risking our life to respond to you while walking, eating, drinking, traveling, or juggling. You can thank us later.

Let no smartphone user ever again feel the shame of using his/her phone's default signature.

Sent from my Treo

I see you like to read printed material. You should check out Nicco's book The End of Big: