Have you noticed how hard it is to stop doing email when you’re on holiday?
I have a colleague who now has to time herself – she tries to only allow herself to look at her BlackBerry at every
other station on her train journey to work.
Packing your holiday suitcase while hiding your BlackBerry from your “significant other” becomes as big a challenge as getting your budget proposal past your line manager. Hiding the battery charger is even worse – that means that you’re planning to use
the BlackBerry so much that it might even go flat on you while you’re away.
Back in about 1985 I was working for an international consulting firm and I ran a major market research campaign for a large communications company that was about to launch the first GSM mobile telephone services in its country. One thing that our research
compared was the general market perception of pagers versus mobile telephones.
The results showed that mobile phones were considered to be “executive management tools” – they reflected the importance of the ability of managers to discuss problems and find appropriate solutions by speaking with their colleagues.
Pagers were considered as “operational tools”, providing simple instructions to “go here”, “phone this number”, etc. They were considers as being for low-level staff, and their use was considered by many to be somewhat demeaning. In effect, they were an
“executive cattle prod” – an electronic poke-in-the-ribs to tell you to do something.
And now we have the BlackBerry. Recognise the similarity? I used to tell my teenage kids that wiggling their thumbs on the controller of a Microsoft PS-2 was no qualification for a future career. How wrong can you get!
If dropping drugs overnight is called “Going Cold Turkey”, should leaving behind your BlackBerry when you go on holiday be called “Going Cold BlackBerry”?