To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Just Stop Checking Your Blackberry

I've long been a critic of the notion that addiction is a disease. People can certainly become physically dependent upon certain drugs, and that physical dependence makes the body crave them. And certain behavior - such as using drugs, gambling or praying - does change brain patterns in a way that reinforces the behavior. And there are many serious brain illnesses / chemical deficiencies - depression, etc - that drive addictive behavior. But people ultimately make their own choices in life. Some people choose to use drugs responsibly, others drink a whole pint of whisky while watching "Jackass 2". Nothing makes a better case that "addiction" is a total farce than this story:
Research by the University of Northampton has revealed that one-third of BlackBerry users showed signs of addictive behavior similar to an alcoholic being unable to pass a pub without a drink.

[...]

Professor Nada Kakabadse, joint author of the study, said that lawsuits were a growing issue for employers who were being sued for failing in their duty of care to staff and in following health and safety guidelines. In one case in the US, a female business consultant claimed that her marriage fell apart because she was constantly checking messages. She ended up losing custody of her children and sued her employer for damages.

[...]

The BlackBerry backlash has already begun in the US, where firms are settling out of court to avoid negative publicity.

The Independent on Sunday has learnt that, in one recent case, an employer had to pay substantial damages to a woman who was so distracted by her BlackBerry while driving that she crashed and killed a motorcyclist. In another, a woman took action after putting cleaning fluid on her baby's nappy instead of baby oil because she was distracted by her BlackBerry.

Sigh. And this sigh comes from someone who is constantly checking his BlackBerry. I was checking it while giving a stripper a dollar on Friday, that's how much I love my BlackBerry. And strippers. But I ain't no addict. And neither is anyone else.

More here.