crackberries ‘r us

I love my Blackberry. I’ll admit it. But I realize sometimes they can be a bit much. I had one for one of my jobs in DC. I changed jobs, lost the Blackberry, and suddenly found I couldn’t deal with not having one. Now having arrived into NYC for my new job, I’ve received one for work. But, annoyingly enough, it came complete with all those fabulous corporate censors built in, meaning I can’t access my personal email, can’t pull up any sites they’ve blocked (all sorts of random things, as well as the to-be-expecteds, such as MySpace, Facebook, and even Blogger). So I now find myself with dueling Blackberries – one literally looking like an only slightly larger version of the other. *Sigh* When is it too much? Is it possible to be too reachable?

My work doesn’t currently run my life, but I have friends and you hear countless stories about people checking their Blackberries at all hours of the night. Never turning them off. Never disconnecting from their work, period. Back in 2006, the Wall Street Journal even posted a 12 step program to try to help those who can’t seem to shake the addiction. And a recent article on CNN Tech referred to “phantom vibrations” – or people discussing the constant feeling that their Blackberry is going off. You just can’t get away from them these days.

New terms have been coined from the addiction. Crackberry was added into Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English, with the definition being “a person who uses a Blackberry handheld computer addictively or obsessively”. Nice. A recent program released by Facebook for use on ones Blackberry has received the title of “Faceberry“. Instead of people saying they will text you or email you, it’s not abnormal for someone to say “oh, I’ll Blackberry you later”. Need to fuel that inner Crackberry addict? Surf on over to Crackberry.com — there’s plenty there to assist, for sure.

Why do I Blackberry? I have friends all over and I live for email. Especially now that the corporate big brother won’t allow me to access my email at work, if I don’t have an easy way to stay in touch with people I quite simply won’t. And seeing that friends are so important to me, that’s just something that doesn’t work and to me, that alone justifies the additional monthly expense. Punto final. It’s also made it significantly easier for me to blog, which I’ve found to be quite handy. I’m sure you’ve noticed the lovely Blackberry tags on here from time to time. While not perhaps the best for ones joints, I’ve gotten quite adept at typing away on the little keypad on my Curve. Finally, I’ve found it *invaluable* navigating a new city. Without my Blackberry and HopStop, who knows where I’d end up on most nights, but I guarantee it wouldn’t be my intended destination of choice (and it would have led to some interesting blog postings, I’m sure)!

I’d say don’t fear the Blackberry, but some of the limits listed in the 12 step program are good ones. I switch mine to only notify me of regular text messages when going to bed and do the same thing in social settings. And that corporate one? It’s off and in a drawer unless there’s something urgent I’m expecting to come through. Maybe that’ll change… but I’m hoping that’s the way it will remain.

What are your thoughts on these little devices? Friend or foe? Necessity or frivolous purchase? Do you feel like Keira Knightley and just want to throw the darn thing into the sea??

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