It's almost been two months since I officially joined this century.

Back in late April I decided to break down and have my next phone be a Blackberry, a phone that I'd heard friends and family talk about and have a love affair with.

I'm proud, and sometimes not so proud, to say that I've joined the affair crowd. I love my phone and would trade it only if someone took it from my hands (and offered me another Blackberry).

My new phone provides me with some major conveniences. In days past, when I went out of town or had to go to a street I wasn't familiar with, I'd have to do the following:

Wait a while at my apartment for my slow computer to wake up and function. This takes about 10 minutes (I'm not kidding). I take the same amount of time to wake up and function so I try and be patient with it.

Log on to Map Quest or Yahoo maps.

Wait a few minutes for my slow Internet to process what I'm trying to tell it

Wait some more for a map to load. I don't do street name directions. I'm a visual map kind of person.

Get frustrated because loading any image gives my personal computer a heart attack, then abort the mission altogether when my computer freezes and tells me the program isn't responding (I'll make it respond one of these days).

On Sunday morning I had to go to Mansfield Road to cover a story. I have no idea where Mansfield Road is, and because of my phone I didn't need to wait 15 minutes for my personal computer to die trying to tell me where it was.

I simply got in my car, turned on some music, then scrolled down to my map application on my Blackberry.

It was south, near the river bed, and I could take Farmland Road to get there, my phone told me.

Off I went, phone in hand, and I was at my destination on time and not frustrated.

I've also used my phone a handful of other times to help find information. My brother wanted somebody's phone number that he hadn't saved in his phone. He was about to break out the phone book when I pulled up that person's Facebook profile and phone number.

If you are the kind of person who doesn't want your phone number posted on a social networking Web site (I'm that kind of person, too), then to search for a number I can simply go to the online yellow pages on the Internet on my phone to search for that number.

Simple. Fast. Easy. Convenient. Not to mention that stupid Brick Breaker game that I'm addicted to but frequently mad at.

I've gotten spoiled having the Internet available anywhere at the touch of my fingertips. At the grocery store I no longer worry about long lines. If I'm waiting in line I just pull out my phone, scroll today's headlines from other newspapers, read my favorite blogs, and check out updates on social networking Web sites. I can even check my e-mail from a grocery store line.

Life with a Blackberry has been wonderful so far. But I realized the downside of it the other night. I learned the hard way of the "phone only" setting which allows the phone only to ring or buzz if someone calls you.

My phone went off at 1:34 a.m. this week. I woke up with my heart racing. Everyone knows the kinds of phone calls that come at 1:34 a.m. aren't the ones of the good news variety. It was actually just an e-mail that I received. My heart was pounding because of junk mail.

My Blackberry is the cause of many joys and one frustration so far. That's not a bad record, and it's a record I plan to keep underneath my scrolling thumb.

Staff writer Monica Springer can be e-mailed at mspringer@gctelegram.com.