Blackberry Addiction in South Africa

It seems that the Crackberry addiction is now afflicting South Africa, much as it has caught on here in Jamaica, where they have become a hot item for thieves.

What caught my eye is the symptoms of smartphone abuse, that I can truly relate to now that I own a Blackberry (it’s been less than a month.)

  • Feeling anxious if one cannot access one’s e-mail or retrieve text and instant messages, or are outside cellphone signal range to receive or make calls;
  • There is an uncontrollable need to check one’s BlackBerry every few minutes to see if there are new messages;
  • Mistaking random sounds as a ringtone or message alert for BlackBerry’s messaging service, BBM; and
  • Panic attacks when unable to locate one’s BlackBerry or if one has left a smartphone at home

The funniest part of the interview is that part where RIM’s representative says that “BlackBerry smartphones have freed people from their desks so that they have the flexibility and time to do the things that matter to them in their social and family lives.”

This is so wrong on many levels that I had a laugh at it… but it worries me that RIM only sees this teensy-weensy slice of the overall picture.

His comment deserves a post of its own, but until them, here’s the link to the article:  South Africans want to break smartphone addiction.