My last day for my previous employer was this past Thursday and at the end of the day I turned in my Blackberry. As part of my position I was required to have it on me at all times and be available for emergency calls 24/7. It was something that I was reluctant to accept at first but I can recall being very curious about the device that had been aptly nicknamed “Crackberry”.
At first I was slow to accept it as part of my daily life but as soon as I started using more and more of its features it definitely became an addiction. I would pick it up whenever it buzzed and quickly broke my “check email at 30 minute intervals” rule. I would send out relatively useless responses to relatively useless emails that I received in the first place. I played BrickBreaker most breaks or during downtimes. I drafted tons of notes on projects to be completed only to ignore them until I deleted them just before I handed it in.
My daily emails went from about 15 per day in my previous non-Blackberry workplace to 80-100 messages on a daily basis, most of which were sent on a Blackberry. Some co-workers found they couldn’t sleep so they blasted off a series of emails at 4am. Mini email wars were waged when problems arose and instead of meeting face to face for 10 minutes to resolve differences, hours were spent throwing emails back and forth over who was wrong, what mistakes were made and generally attempting to point fingers instead of concentrating on solutions and how to prevent them from happening in the future. Blackberry messages were sent to friends and co-workers when a 10 second phone call would do, text messages were interjected between emails and tons of somewhat useless messages were received as the world was cc’d on everything.
Having said all of that I definitely miss having it. I don’t miss the negativity attached to the thing but I do miss the convenience of it. I had been planning on not getting one for my own use for at least 30 days but most people are betting I will own a new one in the next 7 days.
We will see…