Study: BlackBerrys fail to balance work and life

19 Comments

BerryholicA paper released from Ryerson University looking at the effects of BlackBerry and mobile usage personal lives concludes that technology isn’t doing us any favours. The study was done by looking at over 200 periodical pieces and yielded some pretty extreme scenarios:

Professor Middleton, who teaches at the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, found reports of BlackBerry use in the shower, at funerals, at children’s soccer matches, school performances and on vacations. She came across one woman who caught her husband e-mailing under the table during their Valentine’s Day dinner and another whose companion checked e-mail during their first date.

Both sides of the argument tend to butt heads over the BlackBerry issue; one says the gizmos let us spend more time with friends and family, while the other says we really spend less because we’re totally zoned out. While we might be prone to scoff at the opposition and continue thumbing happily away, it’s hard to ignore 200 articles and an academic study of the issue. What do you guys think? Could you stand to use the BlackBerry a little less?

  • http://itsreallyjustme.net/ justelise

    Is the real issue too much Blackberry usage or OCD and a lack of social graces? I think that many of the problems discussed in these articles and studies are not problems caused by technology, but they’re really discovering that people are obsessive and compulsive about getting information now that the technology supports them getting it anywhere, and they lack social graces in general. I don’t think that the issues discussed here are limited to Blackberry usage either. Cell phone talkers in public places are just as obnoxious, and thanks to Bluetooth headsets it’s even more pervasive. The real problem is that people have little self control and fewer manners.

  • http://itsreallyjustme.net justelise

    Is the real issue too much Blackberry usage or OCD and a lack of social graces? I think that many of the problems discussed in these articles and studies are not problems caused by technology, but they’re really discovering that people are obsessive and compulsive about getting information now that the technology supports them getting it anywhere, and they lack social graces in general. I don’t think that the issues discussed here are limited to Blackberry usage either. Cell phone talkers in public places are just as obnoxious, and thanks to Bluetooth headsets it’s even more pervasive. The real problem is that people have little self control and fewer manners.

  • LDCMobile

    The Blackberry and other innovations like it, definitely blur the lines between work and private lives. While the Blackberry in many ways allows us to be free of the office, it does not free us from work responsibilities. What companies must start to do is create policies and train employees on proper usage of the devices.

    People have become tethered to there devices as a result of management requiring more productivity out of users to see their return on investment in the equipment and the service charges.

  • LDCMobile

    The Blackberry and other innovations like it, definitely blur the lines between work and private lives. While the Blackberry in many ways allows us to be free of the office, it does not free us from work responsibilities. What companies must start to do is create policies and train employees on proper usage of the devices.

    People have become tethered to there devices as a result of management requiring more productivity out of users to see their return on investment in the equipment and the service charges.

  • bob

    At face value, looks like a pretty biased study. How about including instances of BlackBerry usage at work for personal reasons? I suspect BlackBerrys enable work life to creep into what was traditionally personal time, but also the reverse is likely true. So my guess is it doesn’t offset the balance much in either direction.

  • bob

    At face value, looks like a pretty biased study. How about including instances of BlackBerry usage at work for personal reasons? I suspect BlackBerrys enable work life to creep into what was traditionally personal time, but also the reverse is likely true. So my guess is it doesn’t offset the balance much in either direction.

  • Jon

    Those sound like perfectly reasonable locations/situations for using a BlackBerry.

  • Jon

    Those sound like perfectly reasonable locations/situations for using a BlackBerry.

  • Jon

    Those sound like perfectly reasonable locations/situations for using a BlackBerry.

  • Jon

    Those sound like perfectly reasonable locations/situations for using a BlackBerry.

  • Jon

    Those sound like perfectly reasonable locations/situations for using a BlackBerry.

  • BBaddict

    For those who want it to balance work and life it does a tremendous job. There is a feature called auto on/off, where you can set the device to automatically shut off at a preselected time. Also if you don’t want to shut down the device all together you can just shut off the data.

  • BBaddict

    For those who want it to balance work and life it does a tremendous job. There is a feature called auto on/off, where you can set the device to automatically shut off at a preselected time. Also if you don’t want to shut down the device all together you can just shut off the data.

  • TestnDude

    justelise is absolutely on track. There IS a problem with being “addicted” to the technology- but this addiction (or OCD) links all the way back to Call Waiting (even without caller ID). “Hold that conversation, I have to get this incoming call” (when the 2nd caller could actually be a telemarketer).

    The advent of today’s technology is just revealing the compulsivity that was already present and just didn’t have as big of an outlet. When I gave my daughter her first cell phone, we sat down and discussed Cell Manners- when its appropriate to use your cell for calls and texting- and when its NOT appropriate!

  • TestnDude

    justelise is absolutely on track. There IS a problem with being “addicted” to the technology- but this addiction (or OCD) links all the way back to Call Waiting (even without caller ID). “Hold that conversation, I have to get this incoming call” (when the 2nd caller could actually be a telemarketer).

    The advent of today’s technology is just revealing the compulsivity that was already present and just didn’t have as big of an outlet. When I gave my daughter her first cell phone, we sat down and discussed Cell Manners- when its appropriate to use your cell for calls and texting- and when its NOT appropriate!

  • Joel

    I believe there are two issues with blackberries/cellphones usage. (1) People do not have any consideration for other people so they will answer their technology in the midst of lunch/movie/funeral whatever. Whether technology is making this more evident I don’t know. Whoever is calling is somehow automatically more important than the person they are currently with. (2)People are making less decisions on their own or continue to rely on their manager who is on holidays or who left work on time to make the decision for them.
    People are generally not efficient at what they do, thus their phone calls are not efficient, so this usage at all hours cause them to spend more time during the day on work related issues.
    As for the under 20 year olds, they may know how to use the technology but you can’t be on the phone and still concentrate completely on a work issue. You certainly can’t do it considerately.

  • Joel

    I believe there are two issues with blackberries/cellphones usage. (1) People do not have any consideration for other people so they will answer their technology in the midst of lunch/movie/funeral whatever. Whether technology is making this more evident I don’t know. Whoever is calling is somehow automatically more important than the person they are currently with. (2)People are making less decisions on their own or continue to rely on their manager who is on holidays or who left work on time to make the decision for them.
    People are generally not efficient at what they do, thus their phone calls are not efficient, so this usage at all hours cause them to spend more time during the day on work related issues.
    As for the under 20 year olds, they may know how to use the technology but you can’t be on the phone and still concentrate completely on a work issue. You certainly can’t do it considerately.

  • second weeker

    It’s going on my second week as a BBy’er. It’s nice to thumb my way to productivity. It beats a laptop sitting on the kitchen table at home hands down. I learned that I must turn the device to “off” for true quality time with loved ones.

    If a lover emails me, I am compelled to answer the call of the shining and colorful lights that signal that wonderful thing called “e-mail.”

    It isn’t nice to “zone out,” so I make efforts not to do so as often as I could.

  • second weeker

    It’s going on my second week as a BBy’er. It’s nice to thumb my way to productivity. It beats a laptop sitting on the kitchen table at home hands down. I learned that I must turn the device to “off” for true quality time with loved ones.

    If a lover emails me, I am compelled to answer the call of the shining and colorful lights that signal that wonderful thing called “e-mail.”

    It isn’t nice to “zone out,” so I make efforts not to do so as often as I could.