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Before the statistics professors roll their eyes and the professional pollsters toss their arms in the air, let me be honest and say that the numbers quoted here are not in any way scientifically rigorous. But, by the same measure, they do give us some sense of the numbers concerning BlackBerry addiction. Recently, www.CrackBerry.com proudly announced that it had topped two and a half million members. Imagine that! More than two and a half million people have taken the time to register at a website called www.CrackBerry.com.
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The Sheraton Hotel Study
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A larger survey was conducted by Sheraton Hotels1. In its survey of 6,500 traveling executives, 35 percent of the respondents said they would choose their smartphone over their spouse. Of those polled, 87 percent said they bring their devices into the bedroom. In the same survey, 84 percent of respondents said they check their emails just before they go to sleep. And another 80 percent said they check them in the morning, as soon as they get up. Of those polled, 62 percent said they love their BlackBerry or PDA, and most of them said the device makes their life more productive.
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Source: September 15, 2008 survey from Sheraton Hotels, which is owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts. You can view the survey results at this URL: www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/about/news/news_release_detail.html obj_id=0900c7b 9809c404f
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Tip As we strongly suggest throughout this book, you may want to direct more of your love to your spouse or family than your BlackBerry!
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The survey also found that more than three quarters of those polled say their gadgets give them more quality time with friends and family... and help them enjoy life more [Author s note: Is this denial or what ].
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Note Here s something to keep in mind about the skewed sample populations. The www.CrackBerry.com survey is of people who have been motivated enough join a forum and ask technical questions about the BlackBerry. So it s quite likely that the sample of BlackBerry users is skewed toward those who are heavy users and may exhibit more addictive behavior than the general BlackBerry user population.
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So, we need help. We use our BlackBerry smartphones too much. We ve got a monkey on our back, and it comes from a Canadian company called RIM. We (or someone close to us) bought this book, for crying out loud! So we have a problem. But don t worry or panic; you can overcome this addiction, and we will help you. Keep reading!
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CHAPTER
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7 Ask Others for Help
In this chapter, we will walk you through Step 7 of overcoming your BlackBerry addiction: asking others for help in behaving more responsibly with your BlackBerry.
Step 7:
Ask for Help in Achieving Responsible BlackBerry Use
Step 7: Ask for help in achieving responsible BlackBerry use. We realize that we need help from those around us to become more responsible BlackBerry users. This might mean having others put our BlackBerry in safe place until we can learn to use it without hurting ourselves or others. In the traditional Step 7 of the recovery process, recovering addicts humbly ask a higher power to remove their shortcomings. That is a very important piece of the process for moving forward and restoring a healthy balance in our lives. We need to be able to step away from the BlackBerry for at least some period of time if we are to achieve that balance. Remember, the goal is to master the BlackBerry, not be a slave to it.
Who is the Master You or Your BlackBerry
One difficulty in stepping away from the BlackBerry is that these devices are extraordinarily multi-functional. We use them for one thing, the email indicator blinks or vibrates, and then we are right back to our addiction. Two of the authors, Gary and Martin, are avid cyclists. Gary has the bad habit of using his BlackBerry as his primary MP3 player (in addition to all the other things he uses it for). So, how does this get him in trouble Gary will leave his house (in nice weather) early in the morning and start his beautiful, scenic ride towards the ocean. He has about 600 songs loaded on his memory card, and he has the playlist set to shuffle his favorite tunes. This is the true story of one morning ride that turned sour and reminded Gary that using a dedicated MP3 player might be the better way to exercise. He leaves the house at 7:00 for a nice 30-mile ride. Five miles in, he stops at the beach to take in the sun and the sights. He makes his first mistake: he takes out the BlackBerry and starts to multitask. He notices the red light blinking and thinks: It is an email from Martin; this could be important. Well, it was important, so now he feels that he can t wait until later to respond. He takes a minute, now cooling down, to type a response. He hits send (the music is still going), and he gets back on the bike. 10 minutes later, the music stops and he hears Martin s ring tone. What s the harm, he thinks as he pulls out his BlackBerry and takes the call. He then tells Martin that he is on his bike and needs to pull over. They talk for a minute and then Gary gets back on the bike, but again he sees the red light blinking. Like the fool he sometimes is, Gary checks the email and thinks, This message is from Kevin; this might be important, too. You get the idea. Gary stops three more times on his 30-mile ride to answer phone calls and check email. The stress starts to build as he realizes that he now knows he has work waiting for him back at the house. Next time he resolves, I will leave the BlackBerry and take the iPod. Or, I will turn off my wireless signal while I ride, accepting no emails, text messages or phone calls.
Caution As we mentioned earlier in the book. Research has shown that staying connected to electronic devices that cause constant interruptions, such as your BlackBerry, while trying to exercise can leave you more mentally fatigued than refreshed.
This is just one of many examples when we should know better and leave the BlackBerry behind. If we can t leave it behind, can we at least learn to ignore the temptation of checking in Here is another exercise for you. Ask yourselves the following questions again, try to answer them honestly!
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