I was at a launch party last night for a friend who’s opening an indoor golf facility in Toronto, and noticed that many people not only had Blackberrys but were checking them on a regular basis as if some urgent e-mail would need to be noted at 9 p.m.
Apparently, however, this is common behavior according to a survey done by Digital Life America, which asked whether having mobile devices such as a Blackberry “chain you to work more than they liberate you”. One third agreed, a third were neutral, and a third disagreed. For Blackberry users, the troubling news is the survey discovered they do, in fact, work longer hours. Nearly 20% work more than 50 hours a week (compared 11% of the general population), while 53% believe they don’t have enough personal time (compared with 40%).
As a Blackberry owner, it’s impossible to argue with the survey. The Blackberry is a wonderful device but it’s addictive, consuming and, for many people, completely unnecessary. We all like to think the world is moving faster and every e-mail needs to answered in minutes but it doesn’t really work that way if you step back from the fray. People who have Blackberrys need to discipline themselves to check their e-mail once an hour or once every few hours, and resist the unproductive and annoying urge to check all the time.
And when it comes to being home, Blackberry owners need to put the device away until they’ve dinner with your family, put their children to bed, drank a glass of wine and asked their wife or husband how their day went. When I first met RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie seven years ago, he said his wife made him put his Blackberry in a box near the front door as soon as he came home from wok. I wonder if he still does that. For more on the Blackberry, check out Ars Technia , Alec Saunders, and Slashdot, which provides a link to a radio story on the new workplace.
Update: For your let’s kill some time on Friday entertainment, here’s Rick Mercer’s hilarious video about the Blackberry helmet.
Technorati Tags: Blackberry