Yes, I am definitely a CrackBerry user.
As a result, when I saw a new book on Amazon called CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse, I simply had to order it and pay the inflated shipping and US exchange rate to have it delivered to Canada. And I am glad I did - it was a hilarious read, and I must admit that I can relate well to the crazy stories within.
I like how the book points out that there is definitely an addictive aspect of BlackBerry devices that is not present in other smartphones. And I also agree that a big part of this addictive aspect is the speed at which you can check email on the BlackBerry - it is designed such that you can click twice to read the latest emails, and the OS never stops, it simply sleeps and awaits a click.
I even did their BlackBerry Addition Quiz and scored 15 (which apparently maps to a strong BlackBerry addiction). Yes, I do check my BlackBerry at:
- Stop lights (I just look at the title of new emails….it beats staring into the Abyss)
- In the bathroom (checking RSS news feeds is better than a magazine)
- While waiting in line (especially at grocery stores….I hate waiting at grocery stores)
- At dinner (especially if the company is boring)
- In public places (my daughter an I text each other in l33t at Starbucks for fun)
And yes, I sometimes feel weird when I don’t have my BlackBerry and have even experienced the “phantom BlackBerry” effect.
However, I do these things when I feel like it, mainly to get a heads up on news or emails that I will need to reply or act on in the future (reading them early prepares me mentally and saves me a ton of time overall).
Unlike other CrackBerry addicts, I have no problem leaving my BlackBerry at home during a trip, putting it away at dinner or special events, and turning it off for days at a time!
I also like to use it to piss off stupid people during meetings by ignoring them and typing on my BlackBerry when they are addressing me :-) It is a great tool for suffering fools!
The BlackBerry is a great device, but it is simply a productivity tool that anyone can live without. The book is funny though, and has some good tips for those who are hopelessly addicted.
This blog post upset someone at RIM (I won’t mention his name). And since we were in the middle of negotiating an educational agreement with them at the time, they held this post over our heads and I was forced to put a login on my blog section until the agreement was signed. Why did they do it? Perhaps it was the emptiness of their cubicle-oppressed lifestyle that made them want to lash out and hurt others in order to validate their own existence. We’ll probably never know.