A CNN report this week discussed the likelihood that the country's first tech-savvy president will have to give up the one thing that differentiated him from his predecessors--his BlackBerry.
U.S. president-elect Barack Obama is the country's first government head whose hand seems glued to the mobile device. Various video clips show Obama constantly peering at his BlackBerry, so much so that his wife once slapped his hands and chided him for checking the mobile device while watching his daughter's football game.
He was the first to mix his campaign efforts with technology during the recent presidential election, allowing potential voters to receive campaign updates from the Obama camp via text messages and e-mail.
It's ironic then that Obama will now have to give up the very thing that had played a significant role in helping to pave his way to the White House. Carrying mobile devices that can be tracked could pose a security threat to the U.S. president, and as head of state, his e-mail and other electronic communications can be subpoenaed and subject to public records laws.
Like most CrackBerries, or BlackBerry addicts, giving up the messaging device isn't going to be easy for Obama. In fact, for most of us today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to give up some components of our tech-shrouded lives.
I had struggled with the possibility of leaving my netbook behind during my vacation next month--so that I would be forced to unhook myself from the Web, and work--but eventually decided I couldn't travel without it. A friend, whom I'll be bunking with when I'm overseas, further sealed the decision for me when he said--without any prompting from me--that I'm free to use his Internet connection if I needed to.
Unlike me, however, Obama doesn't have the luxury of choice and will have to give up his attachments to a lifestyle enabled by the latest gadgets and gizmos.
Some might see that as small sacrifice for a shot at running one of the world's economic superpowers, but I'm not sure the tech geeks at Silicon Valley would agree.
And as technology becomes increasingly intertwined with our daily life, future political and government heads may not be as willing to relinquish their access to what has become a fundamental way of communication.
It's also only a matter of time before text and e-mail interaction between global political leaders become commonplace. It will no longer then be possible for government heads like Obama, to excuse themselves from a high-level cyber conversation simply because doing so would make it easier to circumvent local laws.