To be fair, I have nothing against the little machine itself; I think they’re kinda cool, though I don’t know that I really have any need to be that connected all the time. My pet peeve is with BlackBerries in terms of work, when they really turn more into ShackleBerries.
Unless you are a doctor or superhero who needs to be on-call 24/7, I see no need for these little electronic ball-n-chains. My problem with them is that they completely erase the boundary between work and private time, essentially making (potentially) people be at work all the time. I cannot count the many times my wife’s BlackBerry has gone off while we’re at home with some crap or other from work, because someone farted and they got inspired for some new project or other. Can’t it friggin’ wait until the next business day?
Complicating the issue are workaholics, people for whom the boundary between work and private time is non-existent as well. Since they don’t have a life that doesn’t revolve around work, they will gladly get to that work email that came in during their off time because otherwise what they hell are they gonna do with their weekend? And since these folks are answering their mail, then how dare the rest of employees not do the same? It all ends up creating an intimidating atmosphere, because you can then mark yourself for retaliation during business hours.
I hate the little machines in this context. I know for a fact that the only reason I have not slammed my wife’s BlackBerry against a wall on various occasions is because G-d granted me a huge amount of patience.
If you have a work BlackBerry, for all that is good and holy, learn to respect your private time, and more importantly, teach your bosses to respect your private time.