HR Strange But True!
December 21, 2006

The BlackBerry and other handheld email devices are causing "household tension" between some workers and their families, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Some people refer to the BlackBerry and similar devices as "CrackBerries" because of the attention they attract from users. The devices give users easy access to their e-mail at any time of day, a feature that has made it difficult for some people to put them down for any extended period.

Some parents are struggling to find the correct balance between being connected to the office and enjoying time away from it, and families are seeing the results, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper reports that "some parents are routinely lying to their kids, sneaking around the house to covertly check their emails, and disobeying house rules established to minimize compulsive typing." Some kids have resorted to hiding the devices on their parents.

One ninth-grade student tells the newspaper that her parents' attention is often focused on the devices.

"During my dance recital, I'm 99 percent sure they were e-mailing except while I was on stage," she tells the newspaper. "I think that's kind of rude."

One of the tips mental-health professionals offer those whose obsession over gadgets creates problems is putting the device away during a set time period every day, the newspaper reports.

The article also offers a 12-step program for "addicts."

Source: Wall Street Journal

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