It’s rather amusing listening to people expressing great concern about the fate of their Blackberries. The news media has been headlining stories in the past couple of weeks about some patent infringement case now nearing the end of its long path through the courts that may cause the little devices to go dead.
All the administrators in our overly-large school district, along with many central office folks, have been issued Blackberries and there’s a good reason why these things have been nicknamed "crackberries". It’s not hard to see the addictive effect the units have had on the users over the past year or so.
At meetings you’ll see many of the attendees with their heads crooked, peering into their laps as their thumbs furiously work the keys on the itty-bitty keyboard. It’s almost impossible to be in a group without hearing the quick buzzes of new messages arriving all around. And far too many people expect near instant replies to their messages.
Of course, these are the same people who ban students from using their phones to IM at school, which adds another interesting layer to the whole issue of communication addictions.
I don’t have a Blackberry (fortunately, I got a choice) but I’m still worried. If the company that runs the network shuts down we’ll need to find some twelve-step program to detox principals from the instant email habit.