BlackBerry Addiction

Do you suffer from a BlackBerry addiction? You just might! Most every adult understands that taking drugs or drinking alcohol may likely cause an addiction to the substances and put health at risk. Many people stay away from both for the fear of becoming addicted or ruining their health. In recent years we’ve heard about sugar addiction and caffeine addiction. As if we did not have enough health stealing internal substances to worry about, there are now reports that the BlackBerry is, too, addicting and can cause issues with mental and physical health.

An article featured in the Washington Post in April 2005 was about a health risk associated with BlackBerry use called “Overuse Syndrome”. Orthopedists say the symptoms of this syndrome include pain and throbbing in the area between the wrist and thumb. Sometimes this condition can be severe and cause disability.

In January of 2005 the American Society of Hand Therapists issued a warning about handheld electronic devices stating that these devices are causing more and more instances of carpel tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. The ASHT gave advice on the proper way to hold handheld electronic devices as well as urging BlackBerry users to take frequent breaks from usage.

A more recent report about the dangers of “BlackBerry abuse” says that BlackBerry addiction is very similar to drug addiction. Not only are handheld electronic devices causing physical issues, but they are creating mental health issues as well. Rutgers University in New Jersey has done a study that shows many Blackberry users are unable to go more than a few minutes without checking their email. They carry their BlackBerry everywhere, extend their working day, allow technology to take over their free and family time and feel lost without their handheld devices.

This new study, headed by Rutgers University David Vance, assistant professor of accounting at Rutgers-Camden and by Nada Kakabadse, professor of management and business research at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom shows that weaning from the BlackBerry is much like weaning from drug use.

If you find that you must take your BlackBerry everywhere, including church, vacation, and during time with family, then you just might be suffering from a BlackBerry addiction. Slowly try to cut back the amount of time spent using your electronic handheld device until you are only using it during business hours and not as much on weekends or your time away from the workplace. Continuing to allow the BlackBerry to interfere with relaxation time or family time will wreck havoc on your stress levels and relationships.

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