02-27-09 07:53 PM
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  1. Berryman's Avatar
    It's official, we are all nuts

    Addicted to your BlackBerry? Its nickname, CrackBerry, says it all. There is no recreational use of Research in Motion's BlackBerry. It is a compulsive addiction, or you're not a user.

    Academic studies back up the notion. One, by David Vance, assistant professor of accounting at Rutgers-Camden university, and Nada Kakabadse, professor of management and business research at the U.K.'s University of Northampton, found that a third of BlackBerry users show signs of addiction "similar to alcoholics."

    Many companies would give a king's ransom for such customer dependency. Research in Motion's quarterly results show that, regardless of the slowing economy, there is no letup in the demand for the company's push e-mail software that allows customers to access their e-mail on wireless devices in real time.

    "People may be spending less money on cars, they may be spending less money on their houses, but it turns out the BlackBerry is the one essential," Duncan Stewart, president of Duncan Stewart Asset Management, told The Associated Press.

    After years of success in the corporate market, Research in Motion is now targeting consumers. The company says it added 2.2 million new subscribers during the three months ending March 1, bringing its total to more than 14 million. And it shipped 4.4 million smart phones.

    Palm and Apple want to get into the game too, via their Treo and iPhone, respectively. Never-severed e-mailed connectivity is only going to get more acute, not less.

    That is especially true in the US. Texting via instance messaging (IM) and Short Message Service (SMS) has yet to eclipse e-mail for wireless communication there, in the way it has in Europe and Asia. And in the US, Microsoft's Exchange server technology is dominant when it comes to work-related e-mail.

    The BlackBerry found its first big pool of users in corporate America. Helping with productivity and collaboration at work, it lets employees keep up with colleagues, customers and suppliers even while away from the office.

    It wasn't cheap, but having one let you flaunt your telecom bling.

    For business travellers, it proved a time-saving godsend, converting traveling dead time - at airports and en route to and from meetings, hotels and restaurants - into something productive, and allowing that extra half-hour of sleep that no longer needed to be sacrificed to answering e-mails on the laptop.

    But, like addicts, users of these devices are not using the time savings and productivity gains to shorten their work hours. Instead, they work longer. Glenn Wilson, a psychologist at King's College London, found that two-thirds of users check work e-mails out of office hours and on holidays.

    Getting more done, thanks to the speed of communication, doesn't necessarily enhance the quality of life.

    Wilson found that a compulsion to reply to each new message led to constant changes of direction, which inevitably tired and slowed down the brain. The distractions of constant e-mails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration, he says, than taking cannabis.

    Even those most reliant on this technology worry about never-ending workweeks and the toll imposed by the constant interruptions to family life and personal relationships--a result of having this umbilical cord to work. People are always partly somewhere else, whether at dinner or in bed, surreptitiously glancing down at the glowing screen and stroking the scroll wheel.

    None of which provides a sound footing for a relationship. Work is seen as taking precedence over personal needs. Any compulsive addiction is, at root, selfish.

    It is not just the distraction. Studies show that overwork results in higher levels of stress and tiredness that can lead to diminished intimacy and increased conflict with partners, and premature career burnout. The resentment can be amplified when one partner is less connected than the other.

    And the suspicion must be that it is double the trouble when both partners are constantly connected to Exchange servers more than to each other--especially among couples dubbed DILS and DINS (for double income, little sex, and double income, no sex).

    Seem familiar? Always checking e-mail and too weary for sex? Getting up at weekends two hours before the rest of the family to get some work in and feeling guilty you can't squeeze more hours out of sleep time?

    Dr Jerald Block, writing in The American Journal of Psychiatry, has suggested that people who send excessive texts and e-mails many have a mental illness. There are four symptoms, Block says: suffering from feelings of withdrawal when a computer cannot be accessed; an increased need for better equipment; the need for more time to use it; and experiencing the negative repercussions of their addiction.

    One solution: Don't slavishly respond to every e-mail. In Europe, it is increasingly considered ill-mannered to read an e-mail that arrives during a meal, let alone answer it, just as it would be considered rude to read a book at the table during dinner.

    King College's Wilson found in a clinical trial commissioned by Hewlett-Packard that one in five of those studied broke off from meals or social engagements to receive and deal with messages. Although nine out of 10 agreed that answering messages during face-to-face meetings or office conferences was rude, one-third nonetheless felt that this had become "acceptable and seen as a sign of diligence and efficiency."

    Social mores can change. Smoking was once acceptable in public too.

    And employers might need to change the culture as much as employees. "Employers rightfully provide programs to help workers with chemical or substance addictions. Addiction to technology can be equally damaging to the mental health of the worker," says Gayle Porter, an associate professor of management at the Rutgers University School of Business. She co-authored with Vance and Kakabadse a paper titled "Employer Liability for Addiction to Information and Communication Technology."

    She recommends that companies encourage employees to walk away from their BlackBerrys, e-mail and cellphones while on vacation. Otherwise, can lawsuits be far behind?

    Stress and a compulsive addiction to overworking aren't solely caused by wireless push e-mail, though it makes it easier to get hooked. And there is a generation that has grown up expecting to connect 24/7 to friends and family by e-mail, IM and SMS that can separate work and social never-severed connectivity.

    If you are not one of them, you don't have to go cold turkey. Remember, even the CrackBerry has an off button.

    Executive Style, April 7, 2008
    Management - Executive Style Home - smh.com.au
    04-07-08 03:02 PM
  2. Blacklatino's Avatar
    Funny.
    To text or not to text? That's a personal choice. Accept the addiction and have fun. lol
    04-07-08 03:51 PM
  3. Raven71's Avatar
    NA. AA and now BBA

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-07-08 10:03 PM
  4. ArchAngel028's Avatar
    A crackberry has a power button? I thought it was a crime to turn your crackberry off!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-08-08 06:25 AM
  5. Jay588's Avatar
    only a third?
    04-08-08 08:13 AM
  6. brownieangel23's Avatar
    Lol that was an interesting read, BBA lol "My name is Brownie and i'm a Crackhead ". Even if someone paid me to treat my addiction i wouldn't, i love my BB and would never give it up.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-08-08 08:25 AM
  7. Darryn's Avatar
    A crackberry has a power button? I thought it was a crime to turn your crackberry off!
    It is designed to turn on BB when you first buy it - afterwards it is obsolete.
    RIM hasn't yet worked out that the handset will turn on instantly when the battery is fitted.
    04-08-08 08:26 AM
  8. danny595's Avatar
    Great article. Thanks for posting it.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-08-08 08:26 AM
  9. TheAznBradPitt's Avatar
    yes ill join bba
    04-08-08 11:19 PM
  10. judylicious's Avatar
    Haha heck yes, of course people are addicted to crackberries, crack after all, is a drug.

    Psh my phone barely leaves my hand im obsessed. It's pretty bad but I love it.
    04-08-08 11:23 PM
  11. crimsontide's Avatar
    The results are flawed. There must be more than 1/3 of users addicted!!!
    04-09-08 11:07 AM
  12. JustinBigred's Avatar
    Yeah I think its more like 2/3 are addicted. Every single bb user I know is a full blown addict.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-09-08 01:20 PM
  13. olaf_d's Avatar
    I just read that on my bb. Hi, I'm Devan and I'm an addict.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-10-08 01:12 AM
  14. cate's Avatar
    i agree 100%

    ...

    lol
    04-10-08 02:18 AM
  15. bredmond's Avatar
    Yeah I was thinking the same thing: is it bad if I'm reading about this on my Blackberry?

    I wonder if they'll come up with a diagnostic test to draw that line between normal use and addiction.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-11-08 08:54 AM
  16. mtobiassen's Avatar
    My crackberry addiction? I thought addictions were harmful. It keeps me in touch with my teenage daughter who is, of course, always texting. I no longer yell up the stairs to ask her a question or summon her for dinner. I text message her. Sounds bad at first, but, given the option of a loud yell or a friendly SMS, I think the latter is better for building the relationship at this difficult time. And how cool is it that she can tell her friends that her dad is on Twitter and updates from his BB! Not to mention, work loves me. I respond to emergency emails within 10 minutes (normally) and even if I don't solve them right away, I get back to the customer quickly and this makes them happy.

    What was that first of twelve steps anyway? ;-)
    04-13-08 03:38 AM
  17. philb's Avatar
    Hi I'm Phil grateful recovering addict,
    I agree this can tweek the obsession and compulsion button BUT it is not addictive like substances. WE can turn it off, WE do not need to have it to live. Having lived 22 years in the grips of addiction to substances and 16 years in recovery I do not feel I need to change my clean date because 2 years ago I found a positive way to do thigs. Crackberry is said tounge in cheek and I'm proud to smile as I use the expression.
    04-13-08 06:55 AM
  18. Solachica's Avatar
    I don't want to join BBA.
    04-13-08 07:42 AM
  19. wxboss's Avatar
    To outsiders, this article may be informative. Although, to the users, this doesn't tell us anything that we don't already know
    04-13-08 10:18 AM
  20. Sandipan's Avatar
    To outsiders, this article may be informative. Although, to the users, this doesn't tell us anything that we don't already know
    I second this
    04-13-08 02:53 PM
  21. SLVR6's Avatar
    Wow, just read that on my BB also....in the evening on a weekend. "Hi", my name is Ben and I am an addict....

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-13-08 09:41 PM
  22. luckyu522001's Avatar
    LOL Really? I LOVE mine but I don't NEED it...I mean, I can put it down whenever I want...you know...ouch.

    Honestly though, I've left it in my car...in my purse....at home...and it wasn't a big deal. I use it to talk to my boyfriend all the time and my other friends as well.

    I haven't noticed a drop in my sex life....in fact...I think it can make it better.... ;-)
    01-27-09 02:32 AM
  23. WriteNow's Avatar
    I don't have a blackberry. still contemplating. but i must admit, there are days that i wish i'd left my cell at home.
    01-27-09 07:00 AM
  24. WriteNow's Avatar
    A thought...wouldn't BBA be for 'quitters'?
    01-27-09 07:01 AM
  25. WriteNow's Avatar
    My cousins kid has a blackberry and he constantly has his head in it. I can't imagine him when he gets older, let's say 20....
    01-27-09 07:02 AM
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