An interesting article in the Economist starts with the finding that “35% of BlackBerry users would choose their PDA over their spouse.
While this is entertaining, the real shocker comes a bit later in the article:
The vast majority of people (84%) say they check their PDAs just before going to bed and as soon as they wake up, 85% say they sneak a peak at their PDA in the middle of the night, and 80% say they check their e mail before morning coffee. A whopping 87% of professionals bring their PDA into the bedroom.
This kind of productivity at all costs mentality is exactly what destroys the peace of mind that a PDA is supposed to help to bring.
It speaks to a kind of scatter-brained-ness that results when professionals live as if getting more done is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
How can 85% of Blackberry users be made to understand that “getting more stuff done” is a worthless goal that can never be achieved by itself?
After all, what good is it if someone doubles their productivity and at the same time ruins their sleep, endangers their marriage and never allows them to focus on whatever is in front of them?
But don’t blame the BlackBerry… it’s only a device. All it’s done is to illuminate and automate some unproductive habits.
Now, when that person is pretending to be listening to you but are instead checking email, you know that they are not.
Now, when someone should be paying attention to the cars whizzing by at 90 mph, you know they are not.
Now, when you think that you are relaxing with your family at home or on vacation, getting some quality time, you know that you are not.
I predict that the BlackBerry’s usefulness won’t be measured by the number of emails sent in the middle of the night. Instead, it will help to shed some light on poor time management practices that need to be amended by those who are apparently addicted.
Last week in La Guardia airport, I think I saw the ultimate in insane habits.
A man was peeing at a urinal, hands free. It wasn’t because he was a neat freak… he wasn’t even looking down. Instead, he was looking up over his head, in the direction if his hands, which were both typing furiously awayon the keypad of his BlackBerry.
Talk about multitasking.