I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry. They’re going to pry it out of my hands.
President-elect Barack Obama cited in this morning's New York Times.
Because of the Presidential Records Act, "which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review,"  Obama is being counseled to go without his Blackberry for the duration of his term for fear that he might -- what? -- trip up? Communicate something through email that he wouldn't communicate through another channel? Be influenced to act in untoward ways by communications through his Blackberry that would put our country in jeopardy? Browse prØn during summit meetings?
Haven't we matured enough as digital communicators to understand that this is another mode through which we connect to the world -- and that digital communication should not be feared as a place where manners and good judgment are thrown out the window?
I want my President to be connected to the world the same way I am. I want him to experience the intimacy of communication that email and text messaging provides; I want him to have that kind of immediate access to the people who matter to him and to the information he needs.
I want him to stay real.
Past presidents have spoken of the isolation that the role brings. The security detail alone ensures that there's no more shopping at the local grocery store, there's no more getting your haircut at the barbershop on the corner. Aaron Sorkin's The American President plays on the President in isolation problem with a great scene in which the title character attempts to order flowers for a woman he's interested in and very nearly fails because he no longer has access to his own credit cards.
The New York Times recently wrote about the contribution the Obamas' circle of friends makes to keeping them real. Email and other modes of immediate digital access are increasingly the channel through which we maintain proximity to the people who keep us close to our real selves and help us maintain our authenticity while we head out into the larger world to get our jobs done.
What do we need to do: Start a petition? Launch a protest? I'm in.
Obama: Keep your Blackberry. It matters.
 Lose the BlackBerry? Yes He Can, Maybe in the New York Times