BlackBerry Backlash: 'Always On' Is Overrated

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2007-02-16 Print this article Print

Ask a "CrackBerry" fiend if they resent feeling tied to the office when they've finally gotten away and most likely they'll tell you it's not a ball-and-chain -- it makes them more productive, flexible and, in the end, more successful.

But a study released today by Digital Life America, suggests that the tide might actually be turning among PDA aficionados, with respondents equally divided into "chains you to, not liberates you from work," "neutral" and "pro-PDA" categories.

Rather than freeing users from work, smart phone users were more likely to work long hours. Nineteen percent of BlackBerry or Treo users worked more than 50 hours each week, compared to an 11 percent overall average.

More than half (53 percent) of smart phone users felt that they "don't have enough 'me' time," a statement echoed by only 40 percent of the average. Among female owners of PDAs, two-thirds (65 percent) agreed.

But, it's not to say sacrificing work-life balance isn't paying off -- at least fiscally -- for the PDA-bound. Average household income of owners surveyed was $94,000 per year, about 50 percent higher than the U.S. national average.

Yet even these potential rewards may be wearing thin, as cited by a comment by a 32-year old research participant:

"On one hand, all of these technologies are supposed to make things better for you ... better organized ... but on the other hand they make you available to get called in the evening or e-mailed at night."

And that would be why the word "crackberry" queries 988,000 Google results, why Web support groups cater to the addicted and why Webster's Dictionary called it the 2006 Word of the Year. |

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