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BlackBerry Addiction As Diagnosed By Jo Swift

blackberry_addiction.jpgJo Swift has written one of the most thought provoking articles I have read about the “BlackBerry Addiction.” He is obviously against our much loved device but his writing shows how many excuses we have for the constant communication do not hold up to scrutiny. He has just announced that he is going on vacation for a month and will be completely oblivious of his inbox during that time. I know this is not the type of article a BlackBerry enthusiast would normally recommend but personally I found it to be a very well written piece.

Some of it just made me laugh out loud:

At a recent Jewish-Muslim dialogue, a Muslim businessman told me his wife referred to the hated gizmo as his “mistress”, demanding he lock it in a drawer from Friday night till Sunday evening, so badly had it disrupted their weekends.

Others parts made me think twice:

I know the arguments, back and forth. “Ah, but my BlackBerry is actually liberating,” says the addict. “It allows me to reduce the mountain of work waiting for me at the office.” Except notice how there’s still plenty for them to do when they get there; if anything, the mountain only seems to get bigger. “Oh, but I need to be in constant touch.” OK. But if your colleagues really need to get hold of you, they can always use the phone.

And others just made so much sense it was scary:

A more truthful explanation (Of the addiction) is that the BlackBerry began as a status symbol, a sign of corporate seniority. The device suggests indispensability and this is the sensation that hooks the user. Of course I have to be contactable: people need me! The line you almost never hear is “my employer makes me carry this thing”. The truth is, we’re doing it to ourselves and this is surely the BlackBerry’s most pernicious feature. A whole cohort of workers are turning themselves into virtual slaves, on duty day and night for no extra payment.

Their work now intrudes into their bathrooms, their bedrooms, even their sleep. The mobile device was sold as a form of liberation: now your office can be the beach. The trouble is, it’s turned the beach into the office.

Paid time off work was a right that had to be fought for and won. Yet now we are giving it away voluntarily, seduced by a neat, shiny little gadget.

Read the full article on Jo Swift’s blog.

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