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
    ®idiculous ©rap, 25 Aug 2006 @ 10:54am

    Re: business execs

    Perhaps "addiction" is the wrong word for Crackberries.
    Can we agree that people "rely too much" on CRAPberries, and that its frequently counter-productive.

    I work with several morons who "rely" on a Crapberry and you know what? The device makes those people LESS efficient - they tend to respond to each email two times, or worse they overlook an important task that requires additional follow up.

    Apart from some Network Administrators who actually need a large volume of text-based messages, most business execs would be better served to just go to lunch. Enjoy lunch for an hour. Leave off the email until they're back in the office. It's okay, really, things will continue.

    It's absolutely pointless to send me an email that says 'I'll reply in detail when I get back in the office.'

    Save it.

    How about you just reply when you get back in the office? I know that would be too simple, but that way I won't have to send you a reminder email in 2 days.

    I can't be the only one working with people who have no business spending so much time on their mobile email devices! ...and if they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire.

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