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
    worker bee, 25 Aug 2006 @ 8:53am

    really...

    does it count as working 8 hours a day if i read & respond to posts like this all day? is the corporate corps of france bloggin about blogging for 8 hours? is that efficient? you can say europe has better systems, but they're not perfect. "efficiency" doesn't mean "best". honestly, the only reason i'm posting this is so i can be right, gain some status with people i'll never meet and gain immortality as google indexes my comment.

    another thought...are we arguing semantics to justify our behavior or condemn the study? Yeah I think all the tech and work "addictions" are horrible. it's because we find our entire identity in our paycheck. americans work too many hours but i'm not sure about how hard we (myself included) work.

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