After a decade of addiction and dependence on a Blackberry (AKA “Crackberry”), I have broken free of my habit and dumped the phone-cum-email device.

For 11 years, I have carried a Blackberry and become dependent on its instant email delivery and ability to communicate from all parts of the globe.

No more. It have broken free and the Blackberry goes into the drawer to join a collection of other discarded wireless phones from years past.

Will I suffer withdrawal? Probably. Blackberries are more than phones. For some they are an addicting way of life.

A study out in 2006 confirmed this. Reports The London Daily Mail:

Blackberry email devices can be so addictive that owners may need to be weaned off them with treatment similar to that given to drug users, experts warned today.

They said the palmtop gadgets, which have been nicknamed ‘crackberries’ because users quickly become hooked on them, could be seriously damaging to mental health.

The study, carried out by New Jersey’s Rutgers University School, claims the Blackberry is fueling a rise in email and internet addiction, with sufferers able to survive only a few minutes without checking for new mail.

Guilty as charged. I would stop just about everything when the vibration of the Blackberry on my hip told me a new email had arrived. I would type out responses at lunch tables, meetings and even dinners out with my wife (which started more than one fight).

But the Blackberry also became invaluable. On September 11, 2001, when phones in Washington didn’t work we could still communicate with others on our Blackberries.

However, we came to Floyd in 2004 to relax and take life a little easier. Dependence on a Blackberry should not be part of that lifestyle.

Time to move on.

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