Friday, March 02, 2007
A 'crackberry' intervention
I have a confession. I have an addiction -- to my Blackberry. It started innocently enough, checking and responding to e-mail in between tasks outside work, but soon, the little black machine controlled my life. Friends would be over. It would vibrate, and even though I knew it wasn't anything urgent, I HAD to check it. I couldn't relax. My mind was always at work. It was my crack. Soon, I was "using" while driving. I almost hit an empty school bus. A few months ago, I "bottomed out" at church. My "crackberry" went off during the sermon. My sweetie gave me "the look." Game over. The time had come for an intervention. The conversation was a blur, but I do remember he used the words "respect," "being in the moment" and "sledgehammer."

Recently, I've been thinking about e-mail and mental health. I decide to call time-management expert Peter "the Time Man" Turla ( for advice. Peter says many people he advises complain that there is a lot of activity in their day and not a lot accomplished. He puts much of the blame on useless e-mail. He says many people use it as an escape. "It's like stomping on ants instead of going after elephants," says Peter. He has a number of great suggestions, which you can find on his Web site. Here are a few.

1) KEEP YOUR BUSINESS E-MAIL AS LEAN AS POSSIBLE -- Create folders for different topics. For example, if you are on a newsletter list, make a file for newsletters. Or if you have a colleague that overdoes it on the e-mail, make a file for messages from him or her. That way, you can look at them on your own time.

2) COLOR CODE INCOMING MAILS --Use specific colors for mails from certain people.

3) ESTABLISH REGULAR TIMES TO CHECK YOUR E-MAIL -- You might check it, for example, first thing when you get into the office and respond to the important ones, then check it every couple of hours for the rest of the day.

4) HAVE E-MAIL FREE FRIDAYS -- This isn't one of Peter's, but it's something we've started to do around our office. On Fridays you can send and respond to e-mails only if it's urgent. Otherwise, you should pick up the phone (what a novel idea!) or set your e-mail to "send" it on Monday. It's made a huge difference in my life.

E-mail isn't going away. But we can "manage" it, not have it "manage" us. I am curious - do you share my frustrations? What do you do? I look forward to reading your response, when I check my e-mail ... on Monday.
I became addicted to my Motorola Q. It was like CRACK. The only solution? To get rid of it and downgrade to a normal cell phone. I also stopped toting my laptop everywhere (and I'd mooch off any wireless network I could find). When people joke about being addicted to email or the internet, I don't think it's a joke!
I thought to forward this to a friend, but I guess I should wait until Monday.
The crackberry addiction is now expected in corporate america. Employers expect their employees to be available 24/7. If you don't answer an email instantly, your boss get mad. It's unfortunate that we have to spend so much time reading emails, leaving very little time for actually doing work, or enjoying your family.
Technology has taken us over! Email, texting and voicemail. Which ringtone should I choose? Should I vibrate or silence completely? What about church --should I take it in or just leave it in the car? Choices, choices---these are decisions that didn't require any deliberation only a few years ago because these types of instant messaging and virtual communication didn't exist.
We are all inundated with the "Tease of Technology". It's hold has invaded our personal space and time zone yet we can't seem to break away. It is truly addictive -- the need for constant communication pulls us in. We have to know everything immediately--instant gratification for a generation of "technology junkies"!
It depends on the way you look at it. I was recently on the beach in Sydney, Australia, and someone said they felt bad for me that I had to be on my blackberry. I replied that I was glad to have my blackberry so that I could actually BE on the beach in the first place! Though I do go overboard sometimes (doesn't go over well on a date for instance) and have to be reminded to 'put it away', I am still grateful for the enormous freedom it has given me to be out of the office.
do a show on suicide. people don't really care about people like us. we are hopeless and scared. no one will help me. i can't sleep and i'm scared. why do i have to die. why am i alive and innocent people are not. id on't understand. i have no one to talktoo. i wish i could find my mother maybe that would helpme understand thisss but i heard shee was dead too. i am so tired and so scared, no one to turn too...sorry for writingto you , god vbless
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