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The BlackBerry Orphans 228

Posted by Zonk
from the dad-daddy-mommy-lol'd-at-me dept.
theodp writes "The WSJ reports that the growing use of email gadgets is spawning a generation of resentful children. In addition to feeling neglected, kids fear BlackBerrys and Treos can put their lives in jeopardy as Mom and Dad type away while driving." From the article: "Like teenagers sneaking cigarettes behind school, parents are secretly rebelling against the rules. The children of one New Jersey executive mandate that their mom ignore her mobile email from dinnertime until their bedtime. To get around their dictates, the mother hides the gadget in the bathroom, where she makes frequent trips before, during and after dinner. The kids 'think I have a small bladder,' she says. She declined to be named because she's afraid her 12- and 13-year-old children might discover her secret."
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The BlackBerry Orphans

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  • Quick (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:45PM (#17167438) Homepage
    Quick, someone find this woman and rat her out to her children!
  • by SlothB77 (873673) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:46PM (#17167460)
    I thought it was the other around.
    • That's why I propose that you turn kids into personal secretaries.

      There is no need to exclude them from your daily lives when you can include them. They can read you e-mail's, send off reports and respond to instant messages when you drive or while you navigate the office, elevators and more. Take them out of school and take them to work. They will learn your trade and the world while keeping the family bond strong and reinforcing the importance of education. You see, you'll teach them to read much faster when you are driving 60 miles an hour and you need to know the time of your next appointment and what direction you should really be going on the highway.

      Maybe employing our own children is the answer to allowing more flex time and true telecommuting.
  • Can't hide (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chreekat (467943) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:47PM (#17167470) Journal
    The kids 'think I have a small bladder,' she says.

    Hehe, so she thinks her kids are as dumb as teenagers think their parents are?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 14erCleaner (745600)
      She declined to be named because she's afraid her 12- and 13-year-old children might discover her secret.

      Apparently her secret is that she has a large bladder?

  • I just saw a commerical for a blackberry on cnn.com which touted the ability to spend more time with the kids because the antique salesman had one.
  • by Iriestx (1033648) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:48PM (#17167482) Journal
    She should just pick up a couple copies of WoW for the kiddies. She'd never have to deal with their snotty demands of family time ever again... let alone see them outside of their rooms.
  • My God!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aadain2001 (684036)
    What is wrong with parents these days??? Seems like there are only two kinds: the ones that beat/harm their children and the ones that wish to act like they never had any children! Parent's like these are no better than drug addicted parents who mix meth in their house with their 3month old playing at their feet. Put the gadgets down, talk with your kids, or given them up for adoption.
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:58PM (#17167652) Homepage Journal
      "Seems like there are only two kinds: the ones that beat/harm their children and the ones that wish to act like they never had any children!"

      Well for the most part these are just the ones you hear about.

      There is another issue. Modern culture doesn't place any real value on parenting. If a woman wants too be a stay at home mother she is often looked down on. If a man doesn't want to work on a Saturday to spend time with his kids then he isn't a "team player".
      Of course you are supposed to "fit in" being a good parent but heaven forbid you decide that you should give up something or make that a higher priority than work or "personal time".

      The good thing is a lot of people ignore culture and do the right thing anyway, you just never hear about them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arivanov (12034)
        If a man doesn't want to work on a Saturday to spend time with his kids then he isn't a "team player".

        Well, if it is scheduled a month in advance and he gets a day in liew tp add to of his holidays or agreed overtime I agree with this 100%. Now if it is not and it is a one-off emergency I would also usually agree with that. If it is for the sole reason that the cretinous incompetent c**t that pretends to be a manager was not competent enough to plan how long it will take to get a trivial task done... Hmm

      • by MoralHazard (447833) on Friday December 08, 2006 @08:50PM (#17169984)
        I was out playing pool last night with a friend, in a bar called Ace in the East Village, in Manhattan. (That's New York City.) There's a crowd of khakis-and-blue-oxford-shirt dudes hanging out, pretty loaded, with one woman in the group, early 40s, maybe.

        One of the guys comes over and introduces himself, and says he'll buy me a beer if I compliment the woman on her rack. This is a little wierd, but I want to get him off my back, so I strike up a conversation with the woman and ask her where she got her fantastic outfit. (Armani.) We start talking a little, since she IS pretty cute for a cougar, and that she's a investment banker. Her and her partner (also in the crew, nice silver-haired guy) are responsbile for a couple billion in funds.

        Then she tells me that she just got divorced a few months back, and she has an 8-year-old daughter at home. We play a couple games of pool, and she's all over my friend and I. We're kind of flattered, but not really in love. At some point, she drifts back to her friends, perhaps sensing our lack of interest. She keeps drinking with her pals, and next thing you know she's dancing on a table.

        About an hour later, we're hanging out with the bartender, K., another friend of mine. The bouncer calls K. over the women's rest room because the banker chick is head first in the toilet. K. and the bouncer pull her out, and manage to round up one of her pals to call a car for her and get her home. On the way out, barely coherent and covered with vomit, she sidles past me and tries to give me her phone number. I politely declined.

        Now, my mom got divorced in her mid-30s, with three kids to take care of. She'd been out of the work force for 15 years, but she pulled her shit together, went back to school for a masters' degree, and became a teacher. She managed to meet a really nice guy at church, and got re-married, and made a solid home for us and sent us all to college--I never had to work for my tuition. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about how my mother put herself aside, focused on a plan, and never, ever made me sorry that I was her son. She probably had some pretty dark moments, in there, too.

        In short, as the banker chick was stumbling out the bar and heading home to her daughter, I couldn't think of anything uglier than that. Parents who forget that they're supposed to be parents first, who feel sorry for themselves and get drunk and slobber on people 20 years younger, are making themselves into something that their kids will not respect. And that's a horrible, horrible thing to do to a kid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Probably because we're not noteworthy.

      I love my 9 month old son. I make sure I play him for a while before I head to school/work each day, and I make sure to spend some time with him each night before he goes to bed. That time can be feeding him time, crawling on the floor with him, or reading Dr. Seuss books to him (esp. Mr. Brown can Moo). Weekends, I get to play with him even more.

      Not really that news worthy, since that's what's supposed to be happening.

      HEADLINE: "Man spends time with son!"
    • by syphax (189065)

      I think you skipped the kind that actually pay attention to their kids. They just don't make the news much.
      • MSNBC: Millions of kids have good day at school, don't shoot anyone. It's true what they said in Superman Returns. Three things sell papers: Tragedy, sex, and Superman. We don't have Superman, though, so change that to politics.
    • group three (Score:4, Insightful)

      by us7892 (655683) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:03PM (#17167726) Homepage
      The third kind of parents are the ones that make up the vast majority. We spend a great deal of time with our families, and enjoy doing so. There's just no headline in that.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      those qarae the only ones that make it into the news. Most parents to niether of those things.
      Remember, news reports the EXCEPTIONS, not the rules.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What is wrong with kids these days??? Seems like there are only two kinds: the ones that think their parents shit money out their ass and the ones that go to their schools to do their target practice! Kids like these are no better than drug addicted kids who deal meth in their bedrooms with their 3month old sister playing at their feet. Put the guns down, talk with your parents, or get a job and get the hell outta my house.
  • Parents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by COMON$ (806135) * on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:49PM (#17167500) Journal
    Like a bunch of teenagers, some parents are routinely lying to their kids, sneaking around the house to covertly check their emails and disobeying house rules established to minimize compulsive typing.

    People seem to think that if you have a kid or reach a certain age it entitles you to have no responsibility. They shout "I am MATURE, I can do whatever I want". Reminds me of the teenagers I work with, whining and pouting about how they know best and don't need to follow rules.

    If you are going to be a parent, lead by example. You want your kids to be independent thinkers, then YOU be one. You want your kids to follow rules, YOU follow the rules. I can tell you firsthand with the kids I do volunteer work with that they are very tired of hypocritical parents.

    I understand we live in a fast paced world now, but just like your clients, you have to scedule time for your family as well. How many of the blackberry addicts would answer their blackberry if they were with an important customer? What are you saying about your family when you don't extend them the same respect?

    • by onkelonkel (560274) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:07PM (#17167798)
      Something I've slowly realized as a parent is this - "You are always setting an example for your kids." Whether you like it or not, 24/7, wherever you go, whatever you do, if your kids are there you are setting an example. Whether it's a good example or a bad example is up to you. But, "do as I say, not as I do" is not going to work.
  • by TrailerTrash (91309) * on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:50PM (#17167514)
    I use the CrackBerry in the bathroom, or when I need to run downstairs to get a soda, or go out to the garage to "get something". I have hit the maximum field limit on emails while driving.

    I have, though, found that typing, turning a corner, and shifting (I have a manual transmission, for the youngsters who don't know what that means) all at the same time is difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.

    When we visit the inlaws I hide in the guest bedroom to use the crack.

    I can stop anytime.

    I do NOT have a problem.
    • by robbo (4388)
      For a long time I had total OCD when it came to checking mail, 'reading the news', and often found myself interrupting playing with my daughter to 'just check my messages'. I've definitely found that stress plays a big role- when things got stressful at work, I became more compulsive about checking the messages, which probably only served to increase my stress.

      The official policy in my home is to turn off the switch on weekends. I'd say I'm only 25% successful at it, but it definitely makes a big differen
      • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot.ideasmatter@org> on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:07PM (#17168508) Journal
        The compulsiveness is just that, an incredibly strong compulsion to 'just check my messages'. Resisting that compulsion is almost as destructive as giving in- you have a really hard time giving your kids the attention they deserve, simply because your brain is focused on something else.

        I know of what you speak.

        One thing I've found that works well to tame the compulsion, is to wear one of those thick rubber-bands around your wrist. Whenever you feel the urge coming on, stretch the rubber-band and then let it snap back against your wrist. Hard. Over time, the urges will fade, or even disappear.

        It also works for over-eating, obsessing about a lover or an Ex, procrastinating, any sort of habitoid brain malfunction.

  • In addition to feeling neglected, kids fear BlackBerrys and Treos can put their lives in jeopardy as Mom and Dad type away while driving.

    I think that's rubbish, there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving unless it was explained to him/her by their parents althought I don't see a good reason to at that age.

    As for the parents sneaking away during dinner to use their blackberry's.. hmm, a little childish (pun intended) for sure and clearly shows where their priorities are placed. I doubt there's anything that urgant that comes in to your blackberry not to be able to put it away

    • I think that's rubbish, there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving unless it was explained to him/her by their parents


      Yeah, because teenagers have no source of information other than their parents.
    • by COMON$ (806135) *
      "I think that's rubbish, there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving unless it was explained to him/her by their parents althought I don't see a good reason to at that age."

      Then you seriously underestimate youth. I have met many kids around the age of 8-12 that have more common sense than many people I work with. Seriously, some kids will amaze you at what reasoning they are capable of.

    • I think that's rubbish, there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving unless it was explained to him/her by their parents althought I don't see a good reason to at that age.

      Unless they watched mythbusters?

      http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2005/06/mythbusters_kil ler_brace_posit.html [kwc.org]

      Overall

      The cellphone tests were failed by a much bigger margin, though Adam's observation was that you can put down a cellphone -- you can't get instantly undrunk. Also, they test

    • as Mom and Dad type away while driving

      there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving

      Perhaps not. Too bad the article didn't say "talking." I think kids are certainly smart enough to figure out that if, while driving, you're trying to do something with your hands that requires dexterity, you're more likely to have an accident. When I was younger, my father would on very rare occasions drive with his knees when he wanted to, for instance, unwrap
    • by Jaeph (710098)
      "I think that's rubbish, there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving unless it was explained to him/her by their parents althought I don't see a good reason to at that age."

      You obviously have never seen a kid under the age of 15. Any deviation from the norm is instantly spotted and reported loudly.

      -Jeff

      P.S. I remember driving a friend's kid (10 at the time) to a store. He complained when I only had one hand on the steering wheel. :-)
    • "there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving "

      Well she clearly is a VERY bad driver then. Few near misses and the kids might get the idea that its not such a good idea driving with mom.

    • I think that's rubbish, there's no way a kid under the age of 15 would spot the danger of talking on a cellphone while driving unless it was explained to him/her by their parents

      We're not discussing TALKING on a cellphone while driving, we're discussing THUMB-TYPING TEXT MESSAGES while driving. You don't have to have passed Driver'd Ed class to know "keep your eyes on the road" is an important part of safe driving.

      As for the parents sneaking away during dinner to use their blackberry's.. hmm, a little chil
  • by User 956 (568564) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:50PM (#17167524) Homepage
    The WSJ reports that the growing use of email gadgets is spawning a generation of resentful children.

    I wouldn't point the finger at the email gadgets per se. It seems more likely that nanny-state lazy parenting is to blame.
    • Precisely (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:18PM (#17167944)
      It is perfectly possible to have gadgets like this, and not be attached to them. I have a smart phone since my work got one for me, with a data plan and so on. However it's not even set up to check my e-mail. Why? I just don't care. I check e-mail from 8-5, after that I'm on my own time. Either it's a critical problem that rates a phone call or it can wait until tomorrow. I don't have a family, I'm not married, it's just I am realistic about how important things are and I don't like my time being intruded upon. Having the device doesn't necessitate that I am glued to it all the time. It's just a nice cell phone that I can surf the net on when I want.
      • by COMON$ (806135) *
        AMEN!

        It is good to hear that someone can actually prioritize. I am the same way, today (a slow friday) I have received around 50 e-mails if you dont count system e-mails and spam. If someone needs me, they can call. Critical systems will send a page. ta-da! I may have 20 e-mails waiting for me in the morning from my private business alone but my clients are all very happy and my 9-5 is stable. no off hours e-mail needed at this time, nor do I wish a job that will requre me to become a workaholic. I

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:39PM (#17168202)

      I wouldn't point the finger at the email gadgets per se. It seems more likely that nanny-state lazy parenting is to blame.

      Or maybe, just maybe, it is businesses and corporations that think a salary is an excuse to reach into our entire lives.

      Employers now expect to be able to control who we work for after we're laid off, fired, or quit. They expect to control who we work for once we leave the premises. Many expect to have a cell phone number to reach us at, at a bare minimum, if there's an "emergency."

      Used to be that if you worked for Joe's Widgets and Joe wasn't treating you right, and Dave's Dodads offered you a better wage- fuck Joe and the horse he rode in on, you said "Sorry Joe" and went to work for Dave. Non-compete agreement? In a capitalist economy in a representative government? What the fuck? Back in the 50's, if you tried to get someone to sign a non-compete agreement telling them they couldn't work for a competitor for a year, that person would have walked right out the door. Used to be you could talk about your kids and it impressed your boss that you were a family man- not that it made your boss think, "shit, that means he'll be staying home for runny noses and wanting time off for their soccer games."

      Used to be if a client said "hey, I know it's 10PM there, but I need this answered now" and someone would say, "I'm sorry, we do not conduct business this late." Now it's "sure, let me call Jane." Used to be that companies paid you for your talents, not that you were put on the planet for your employer and given a salary as a courtesy.

      I had an employer call me once while I was asleep. I made it very clear I HAD in fact been asleep; I didn't need to say anything more than "I was asleep when you called." Didn't happen again. You gotta draw lines. If you don't, corporations will just continue eating into your life. Push back to the extent you think you have the power to do so, even if it's slight- just like they chipped away. Update your resume and start sending it out again. Network. When you interview, pay close attention to the kind of business, and try to get the precise commitment nailed down without looking too inflexible.

      Go for a position where you can demonstrate a well-above-average capacity so that your boss -doesn't- complain when you didn't answer the phone last night, or comes to your defense when the exec's secretary bitches that you weren't fast enough fixing that email account. "That was Joe. We had a major emergency this morning, which he handled very well, but he wasn't able to get to that email account until after he was done. Joe is a very qualified employee who does top-notch work at an agreeable salary" is a powerful response to "Hey, who was responsible for my secretary not having email for 2 hours?" I wish more managers would realize that's the better response compared to hanging the employee out to dry and promising to "speak to them" about it.

      I've found so many people misunderstand why execs mention problems they hear about. Half the time a complaint isn't actually a serious complaint, but a probe to see if this minor bump in the road is indicative of larger problems- and hence if your manager values you and comes to your defense, or hangs you out to dry. Sometimes if your manager really values you, coming up on upper management's radar might not be a bad thing. Like, maybe the next comment is, "glad to hear he's an asset, make sure his next performance report crosses my desk and I'll see about his compensation. I want to keep him." Or "hmm, so he does great work, eh? Would he be qualified for (insert next rung on The Ladder) over in Department X? We need a good person for that."

  • by BAKup (40339) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:54PM (#17167586)
    His dad, private banker Ross Singletary, calls it "a legit concern." He adds: "Some emails are important enough to look at en route."

    No. No, no emails are important enough to look at en route. Period.

    Get a life, and pay more attention to things around you instead of work. There's a whole world outside, and your kids mental well being is more important than your job no matter what you might think.
    • No, no emails are important enough to look at en route.
      The only email that might be worth reading en route is one that has a substantial relationship to a literal issue of imminent life-or-death. But its not worth checking to see if an email might be in that category en route, unless you are nearly certain that you wouldn't get any other email coming in at the time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by John.P.Jones (601028)

        The only email that might be worth reading en route is one that has a substantial relationship to a literal issue of imminent life-or-death. But its not worth checking to see if an email might be in that category en route, unless you are nearly certain that you wouldn't get any other email coming in at the time.
        Ah that is exactly why we need an 'substantial relationship to a literal issue of imminent life-or-death' filter, like a spam filter except...

        Oh, nevermind.
      • by hurfy (735314)
        What on earth could be so important you would have to check while driving that one would actually send in an email that you can't be sure will even arrive?

        http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/08/135023 8 [slashdot.org]

        If it is that important then surely it would be worth a phone call. Not that one should answer that on the road, but for crying out loud, now we need DWE (driving while emailing) laws too ?!? On second thought, the sleeping pill ad on TV has to say not to drive after use so i guess maybe :(

        There is no su
  • Parenting? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:54PM (#17167588)
    Like teenagers sneaking cigarettes behind school, parents are secretly rebelling against the rules. The children of one New Jersey executive mandate that their mom ignore her mobile email from dinnertime until their bedtime. To get around their dictates, the mother hides the gadget in the bathroom, where she makes frequent trips before, during and after dinner.


    Huh? The interesting thing isn't about technology, its about parenting styles. When I was a teenager, if I tried to impose rules like this on my parents (regardless of the technology involved), they'd tell me that I could make the rules when I was working and paying the bills and they were living off me.

    They'd usually accompany it with discussion of the issue and why they needed or wanted to do whatever it was I wanted them not to do, and might try to find some way to address the issue I was having that made me want to impose the rule. Or they might not. Depending on the circumstances.

    But they wouldn't let me pretend I was running the family, and then sneak around to evade my "rules". And, IMO, that's a good thing.

    "Avoiding conflict" is not the same as "parenting".
    • by lgw (121541)
      But they wouldn't let me pretend I was running the family, and then sneak around to evade my "rules". And, IMO, that's a good thing.


      Indeed - and they probably wouldn't have ignored you in favor of pointless email checking either. It's clear that the children mentioned are the only ones acting responsibly here. At least someone in the family is trying to act like a parent, so I guess it could be worse!
    • by vadim_t (324782)
      Parents can be wrong as well, you know.

      You being in a privileged position doesn't stop you from being a jerk, and if it gets to the point that it's the kids trying to get you to come to dinner and not the other way, then it's pretty obvious you're doing something wrong.
      • Parents can be wrong as well, you know.

        Naturally. Fallibility is not an excuse for abdicating responsibility.

        You being in a privileged position doesn't stop you from being a jerk,

        Clearly. Agreeing to "rules" from your teenage children and then sneaking around evading them rather than dealing with the issue maturely is, I would argue, a form of "being a jerk" as well as an abdication of parental responsibility.

        and if it gets to the point that it's the kids trying to get you to come to dinner and not the oth

    • by tomjen (839882)
      Thing is - she agreed properly because she knew she had a problem and should spend more time with her children. My guess at the situation is that they asked hear to stop using the blackberry and she said "You know what - I will not use the BlackBerry from dinner till I have put you to bed".

      The problem is that she needs to grow a spine - either cancel the rule with her children or tell her boss that she will not check her email after work.
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:55PM (#17167606) Homepage Journal
    I love non-sequitir Subject lines. (And random caps as well) So, I'm a dad. My two year old sees me about two hours a night: after work (6:00PM) and before her bedtime (8:00PM). On weekends she has my full attention except for during her nap which is about an hour and half. In other words I give her as much time as I can. And I still find time to e-mail, post on various forums, compose original music, make movies, work on my photography hobby, work on a variety of computer projects, etc... My wife, a stay at home mom, is with our daughter a lot more than I am by virtue of the fact that she stays at home. So she's DYING for her own time. Our daughter has accepted that if my wife wants to check mail (just standard mail on a laptop, not a crackberry), she should busy herself with something else. Of course within reason. My wife is VERY attentive to our daughter. At the same time if I even make a motion to go anywhere NEAR a computer my daughter starts wailing. She has already somehow intuited that a computer + daddy can sometimes mean a long period of time where I'm not available. Even though I've never really put her through anything like that. I've had work situations where I've had to spend maybe an hour or two on the weekend working on something, but it's been infrequent. So I think kids definitely can deal with it. In reality the black berry is no different from a regular phone. Generations of kids survived mom's gossiping on the kitchen phone in the past. This is not going to be a huge tragedy. Honestly, do any of you resent the time your mom's spent on the phone when you were young?
    • by Steve525 (236741)
      And I still find time to e-mail, post on various forums, compose original music, make movies, work on my photography hobby, work on a variety of computer projects, etc

      Damn, I don't know you find all that time. Do you sleep or spend any time alone with your wife? I'm in a vitually identical situation and pretty much all my hobbies have gone away to lack of time. (OK, I find a few minutes here and there to read and post on Slashdot). After the kid is in bed, I've only got an hour and half or so to do the
  • This just in! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by octaene (171858) <bswilson AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 08, 2006 @04:59PM (#17167664) Homepage

    This just in: parents in the "Me Generation" are putting themselves before their kids/families/significant others!

    Seriously, the woman in this article makes me sick. I know she's an "executive", but you know what? You're not that fscking important. I'd even wager that her company's stock price will stay about the same the following day even if she doesn't send that last e-mail before dessert. Lady, sit the fsck down and eat your dinner.

  • work lol work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SydBarrett (65592) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:05PM (#17167766)
    Do these people really need to be "on call" the whole day? I just wait until I get into work to check email.

    Sometimes I get bored riding the Metro in DC, so I play a game of "count the Blackberrys". 1 point for each Blackberry, 2 if it's being used to send mail, and 10 points if it's used as a phone. It's nice being a contractor and just leaving work AT WORK.
  • With my Significant Other we communicate a lot that way... and text messages... all day...

    Last month I had over 3000 text messages on my bill. I use that, email and text messages more than phone. Sometime it is very convenient to talk discretely... like in a theater or with some friends/people when we do not want to be heard... I/we use it for everything... It is so convenient. I need directions? I fire up google/google map on it. Check movie times? weather? Hey, it is great on such a small phone!
    • by freeweed (309734)
      Last month I had over 3000 text messages on my bill.

      That's over 100 messages a day. Assuming 16 hours awake, that's a message every 10 minutes, every waking hour, for a month straight. Assuming you actually DO anything with your time (driving, eating), it's even more often. Assuming you have a job...

      So basically your life consists of continual text messaging? I don't think I'd have thumbs after even a week of this :)
      • by drasfr (219085)
        I realized, it is 3000 total. meaning sent and received. I only typed 3000. But yes it is a lot still! Why do you think my title was "it can be addictive"? I do have a very busy job in fact... I don't drive. I take public transportation. Ferry, bus, etc... I have whole conversations with friends over text messages.

        oh and yes... i need another input interface. my thumb is sore!

        I would be curious to know other people's usage!
        • by freeweed (309734)
          I would be curious to know other people's usage!

          Put me in the "I just realized I'm now an old fart" category.

          With a house full of electronics, computers up the wazoo, most of what used to be phone conversations now taking place over IRC/IM/email, all of my music ripped and available at once from a server, never watching live TV thanks to a PVR - and I think I've sent 3 text messages in my entire life. Got annoyed at how hard it is to spell properly in them, too.

          Finally, I too can yell at all those nasty law
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bladesjester (774793)
      You go to a theater to watch the movie, not to talk on your phone or send text messages. That's not only completely silly on your part, but extremely rude to everyone around you. I don't care if you think it's "addictive". There are times and places to not use it.

      There has been one time in my life that I've used my phone in a theater. I was on alert from a client that I might have to be called in if something they were doing during that time went south. I set that incomming number on vibrate and all ot
  • I think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:06PM (#17167784)
    the real problem is that these stupid people are giving their whole lives to their employers.
    • by Tim C (15259)
      There's an advert for some new meal deal at Pizza Hut here in the UK at the moment, which contains the line "It's called overtime, not all the time".

      Every now and again, when it's crunch time? Sure. All the time? No. No-one lies on their death bed, wishing they'd spent more time working.
  • by capedgirardeau (531367) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:08PM (#17167806)
    I have never seen one, but it is just frickin' email right?

    I mean ya, it's cool you can get it wireless and send email wirelessly, but it is still email.

    I think there is something more to this, some emptyness in people's lives that make them need to get some sort of external validation from people going on here. Like those sad folks that live in chat rooms hoping someone will like them. Or is it a work addiction because it is work related emails they are sending/receiving?

    I am not trying to be critical, I am really just trying to understand why people get addicted to email or IM basically, which is what I think these things are, unless I am missing something never having seen one.

    I personally love to get away from my email at any cost, while I don't like to be disconnected from the internet for too long, it isn't because of the email/IM, it is because I like reading the news and such and feel out of touch with current events if I don't spend at least a few hours everyday online reading.

    Let me know if I am totally missing what these things are besides email machines.

    • I have a Blackberry and I love it. For one, when I'm off somewhere, I'm at ease because I always know what's going on. My email comes to me instead of me having to go check for it. Also, I have a newer model, so not only can I surf the web, I can hook it into my laptop and get a quality, mobile, internet connection.

      People complain about Blackberries tethering them to the office, but mine gives me freedom. For example, I now visit family more often, and can take the more than occasional long weekend. If I'm
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by value_added (719364)
      I personally love to get away from my email at any cost.

      And I'd like to
      get away away
      these people
      altogether. Don't
      know which is
      worse, reading
      emailfrom Exchange
      users, or reading
      email from
      people using
      these devices.
  • ...because it diverts too much attention away from my Nintendo DS
  • The part of this I know to be true is the "ignoring your kids" factor; my wife's job has developed the need to have her on CrackBerry duty 24/7, and when she's mailing or reading mails, neither I nor our twins can get through to her.

    Having said that, she's a terrific and devoted mom otherwise, and we're working it out -- she just imposed a limit on herself that, from the time she gets home from work to the time the kids go to bed, the CrackBerry is off.
    • she just imposed a limit on herself that, from the time she gets home from work to the time the kids go to bed, the CrackBerry is off.

      Has she been spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom since instituting this rule?
  • For Good Reason (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heli0 (659560) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:19PM (#17167958)
    "kids fear BlackBerrys and Treos can put their lives in jeopardy as Mom and Dad type away while driving."

    BlackBerry tapping causes car-crunching chain reaction on I-5 [nwsource.com]
  • Odd. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PieSquared (867490) <isosceles2006 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:25PM (#17168044)
    I've always heard that the blackberry was addicting, which was why I was worried when my dad got one for his work. It hasn't been a problem, though. It makes a buzzing sound whenever he gets an email, and I hear it fairly often at dinner (and yea, we actually eat dinner together, 9/10 times). He doesn't answer it... he usually doesn't even look at it until the next morning. The easy way to do that is to remind people that it is just e-mail. E-mail != instant message. E-mail can wait for a response.

    My dad manages IT for a small chain of banks, so sometimes he really is needed for something. If something important happens (usually an alarm going off, once or twice armed robbery...) then they'll call him. I rather suspect that this is true for *anyone.* If they really need a fast response they'll call - doesn't the blackberry itself offer voice service?

    Perhaps it is something about my family... I never check my email more then once a day, either. People seem confused when I tell them I hadn't yet gotten their email 12 hours after they sent it. I have a cell phone - if it is important they'll call me.

    How anyone can find themselves addicted to checking email or a blackberry is still beyond me. Then again what annoys me even more is a phone in a store... lets say you walk into a store for two reasons, to buy something and to ask if they'll be open on a minor holiday. You wait in a line, and when you get to the front you pay, then start to ask your question... and the phone rings. This person also asks if they'll be open for this minor holiday, but despite the fact that you bothered to come in, and just gave them money, they will always talk to the person on the phone first. What happened to the "hold" button? People are so addicted to instant communication these days that the person right in front of them gets shunted to the side.
  • by hikerhat (678157) on Friday December 08, 2006 @05:29PM (#17168082)
    I suppose kids aren't reading this, but if you are, smash your parent's blackberry. Blackberries are expensive. They might get another one, but after you smash three or four, they won't get more. If their blackberries are issued by their employer, your parent will be fired after you smash two or three. Again, problem solved. Don't be afraid. Your parent my yell at you, make scary faces and noises, and send you to your room. But that's attention, and any attention is better than none. And they'll get over it an a day or two and love you again, without a blackberry.
  • You have teenagers and college students addicted to cellphones and IM.
  • I have a blackberry and don't do a lot of this crap. I turned off all notifications for incoming mail, except true emergency messages (server outages). This pretty much keeps me from checking the thing all the time. Although I'm an e-mail junkie at work, i only check the blackberry outside of work a couple of times.
  • Anybody foolish enough to text message while driving should have their driver's licence suspended. That's just too dumb.

    The latest problem I've seen is people crossing streets on foot while looking at cell phone screens.

    There are some real user interface issues here. Aircraft cockpit designers worry about "head down time", time the pilot is looking down at some panel instead of looking out the window. Some car designers have no clue in that area, leading to interfaces which require watching the panel

  • by superdude72 (322167) on Friday December 08, 2006 @06:46PM (#17168978)
    God, I hate these obnoxious "trend" stories in the Wall Steet Journal and the New York Times. They're always designed to inflate the reader's ego. Some evergreen "trends": it' getting harder to get into the right preschool, it's hard to get into the right co-op in Manhattan, $100,000 weddings are becoming the norm, prenatal preparation for the SAT is becoming the norm, etc. etc. You're supposed to develop some sort of tribal identity around these problems.

    So here we have the Blackberry. Ooh, ooh, that's me! I have a Blackberry! I have a Blackberry and I live in New York! I'm busy and important too!

    But what's the real news here? People who place a high priority on their work have trouble balancing work with family. Big frickin' deal. What's the evidence that a generation of "Blackberry orphans" is emerging? Zero. It's all anecdotal--designed to make you feel like you must be important because you have a Blackberry. I suppose it's also there so the reporter can let it slip that he knows the creator of Entourage.

    What really galls me is that someone got paid to write this shit. It's so, so easy. Make up a trend, call your friends for some quotes, get a quote from one "expert" from your Rolodex. It's like this:

    Trend: Farting in elevators
    Quote 1: I was in an elevator when someone farted once.
    Quote 2: Me too!
    Expert: We're seeing a lot of people farting in elevators as Mexican food has become chic in upscale, Manhattan neighborhoods.
    Quote 3: Yeah, farting in elevators is definitely a trend I've been noticing.

    With any luck, if you apply this formula, you'll done with your article by lunchtime. Bad reporter! Go out and find some real news. There are millions of people who would kill to be a reporter at the Wall Street Journal (disgruntled journalism major, here) so go out and earn your place at this respected newspaper! Do your damn job, and stop phoning it in!

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