“You are addicted to your blueberry again!” My poor mum says to me with a fed up look. I roll up my eyes “It’s a blackberry mom!” “Yea yea whatever you call it” she responds. My friends taunt “I am so glad I don’t own an anti social device like you do, all you do is ignore your physically existing friends”. My over sarcastic brother says “Hey have you joined that Face book group yet – You know you are addicted to your blackberry when …?”
I read an interesting article on the campus blackberry addiction in the local newspaper and it highlighted the following words : isolation, compulsive behavior, impossible to ignore, wasting time etc. I know you don’t want to hear it and frankly I don’t want to talk about it (considering I am very loyal to my own blueberry as well), but then again what are people talking about? In my personal experience, I find that blackberry messenger(known to our kind as BBM) has gotten me “connected” than ever before. I am in constant touch with my friends and if someone “pings” me and types ‘hey I am gonna be around your area – wanna meet up’? I usually take them up on their offer if I am not doing anything constructive. So my social device turned out to be quite helpful didn’t it? It managed to hook me up on a coffee date with an old friend in a matter of minutes and that too without costing me a single penny! Of course it’s a different story that I would probably be messaging (or rather bbming as we call it) 50 other friends of mine while having coffee with the one who originally invited me on the date.
I first realized my addiction when I read somewhere that a recent survey of blackberry users showed that 80% of the people do not leave the house without their blackberry and my first thought was – What were the remaining 20% even thinking?! Well we all KNOW we are addicted, so let’s instead talk about getting to the root of the addiction and dig a tad deeper. Why do people seek the need to want to stay connected so desperately? Why isn’t just using emails on computer enough? Why isn’t it enough to call up a friend and say hi rather than BBM a message to him or her? It’s all self created importance. It’s the need to feel wanted by the world. We are not addicted because we don’t have a choice; we are addicted because we want to be. We want the attention and let’s face it, we are loving it!
How many times has this happened to you? You are at a party, you just happen to know one other person there and you cling on to that person like a parasite yapping your way through. Suddenly this one other person you know gets another call – a nature’s call. Oh crap, they’ve walked off towards the washroom. Suddenly you are left standing there alone with no one to talk to in a room filled with chattering people. A cute stranger looks at you and tries to make eye contact, but instead of noticing him or her, your eyes are busy searching the red light flashing on your blackberry. You start checking your Blackberry and look away pretending that the person sending you a forward or a joke right now is probably more important than a new friend you were just about to make who would have PROBABLY asked you out to dinner someday. (Let’s just throw that in shall we.)
What can you do about it? Some of us do take drastic measures and just cancel their service, you do save a lot of money and you get your life back. But most of us are not going to do that. Most of us like to go with the flow, we like to stay connected and we like to take a whiff of the self created air of importance around us once in a while. So what can we do to make our social life a little more bearable with the soul sucking device in our hands all the time? Get Strict! Be disciplined!
– Firstly, I am just blindly going to assume that no one reading this uses their blackberry while driving! It’s no wonder we have more accidents due to intextication rather than DUI.
– Secondly, stop taking it to the washroom please. No, there isn’t going to be a work crisis during the 3 minutes you spend in the washroom to pee. You will be surprised to know that the maximum numbers of germs that reside next to you are not on your hands even if you don’t wash them but are on your phone key pad.
– Turn off your device when you are spending time with your family and friends. Keep a time slot for yourself when you check your emails.
– Don’t just listen to people when they talk, look into their eyes.
Make sure that the blackberry isn’t the first thing you see when you wake up and definitely not the last thing you see when you go to bed.This is all a vicious circle that will come back to haunt you. You ignore someone because of the blackberry, someone ignores you. You get Mad. You want to feel important about yourself, and ergo enter the black berry again.
Make conversation with a random person and step out of your comfort zone. Watch that sunset and sunrise. Tomorrow when your life ends, you won’t care how about how many emails or messages you left unread but you will regret meeting new people and making experiences of your own.
So the next time someone asks you – What’s your pin? Tell them, “no thanks, I don’t believe in self created importance and I am definitely not an addict”. Although, I am pretty certain you are reading this on your…?