Is It Still An Addiction If It's Good For You?

from the just-wondering... dept

We've mocked the various researchers who like to call just about every new popular technology an addiction, when there's no real evidence that there are any dependency issues involved. As we've said, these researchers are using the emotional reaction people have to the word "addiction," associating it with chemical dependencies and dangerous and damaging activities. However, what if it turns out that the "addiction" is actually good for you? More than a few times, researchers have warned about the problems of email addiction and referred to portable Blackberry devices as "Crackberries" to play up the supposed addiction. Earlier this week we even wrote about researchers who warned such addictions could lead to legal liabilities for companies who provide their employees Blackberries. Of course, new research today shows that 77% of people with such devices found that they enhanced their work-life balance, rather than impeded it. So, we have to ask, is it still proper to use the emotionally-charged term "addiction" when the net results are most likely to be beneficial? As people have pointed out in the past, we're all "addicted" to things like air and water, but that's not a bad thing. Is the same true of mobile email?

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  1. identicon
    Sal, 25 Aug 2006 @ 1:45am

    business execs

    "77% of people with such devices found that they enhanced their work-life balance, rather than impeded it"
    Replace people with business execs. America is "addicted" to working. If you doubt me I can campare it with Europe and Egypt. Business execs will take their laptop on vacation so they can get some work done. Of course a device that lets them e-mail anywhere would improve their life by their terms, but what about their family?

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