I love my Crackberry. I feel panicky without it. I have a spare one tucked away in my bedroom drawer so no one else finds it. I often check my emails at 4am, just in case something interesting has come in whilst I slept. Doctors talk about the Pavlovian response we have to emails, being rewarded with little tidbits of information each time the buzz signals a new message. Partners complain of their beloved having one eye on the phone whilst having a romantic meal and never actually switching off and disconnecting from work.Am I addicted? Undoubtedly. Is it a bad thing? No. And here’s why:
It gives me freedom!
Let’s say I am out and about without my phone. As the boss, I’m aware that there may be stuff going on in my absence. There might be a client drama, perhaps some urgent work comes in which needs done RIGHT NOW! So I never totally switch off and I beetle back to the office ASAP so I don’t miss anything as I have no way of knowing if there is anything going on, and have to act as if it is.
With my Blackberry, I can see what’s coming in, check that everything is okay with the VAs and carry on with whatever it is I’m doing. My stress levels are undoubtedly reduced by having the Blackberry with me. I’m in control, I have tools to get things sorted if something does need actioning, but I’m not tied to my desk.
On holiday the Blackberry definitely gets packed into my suitcase. Not that I am planning on working, but it does let me relax and know that there’s nothing drastic happening without me. As the boss I feel it’s important that my staff feel like they can contact me if there is a major drama – but part of being the boss is to equip them with the tools to deal with day-to-day issues and be able to trust them to do the job properly. The Blackberry is my security blanket that I’m not missing out on anything – it lets me switch off and relax properly.
On the flip side: My hubby got a Blackberry about a year ago. He is truly addicted. We have to have a phone amnesty when we go out to dinner because he’ll obsessively check it all the way through otherwise. Having the phone switched on does not relax him, so he never truly switches off. Having a Blackberry definitely decreases his quality of life. And these are the people who should definitely switch it off or at least set up their emails to only receive during business hours. I’ll get hold of it one day… maybe when he’s asleep…