Blackberry or Crackberry?

Blackberry or Crackberry? A PDA Culture War (NPR)

For many, the Blackberry is a must-have gadget, a wireless hand-held computer that can send e-mail and make phone calls. NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports that as the device wins fans, it’s making a cultural impact. A lingo has sprung up around the devices, with heavy users calling themselves “Crackberry” addicts, referring to the highly addictive form of cocaine. The surreptitious glance downward, head bowed, to check for e-mail during a meeting is referred to as a “Blackberry prayer.”

While many users say Blackberries make them more efficient, some researchers — and some spouses, as well — say the wireless devices offer their owners new ways to distract themselves, often annoying others in the process. Even some habitual Blackberry users acknowledge problems with the devices. But they say the challenge lies in being able to absorb the information at their fingertips, and to multi-task effectively. And according to these users, those worries pale when compared to what might happen when they’re caught without their Blackberries: withdrawal.

There is a certain insidiousness about being expected to be in contact 24/7. A couple of years ago, my inclination would have been to believe that an etiquette for the use of these devices would naturally develop as they proliferated. Given that it hasn’t happened with cell phones, though, it seems unlikely.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Herb Ely says:

    I recall a quote from Bud Grant, the Great Vikings coach when he was asked if he believed in the work ethic, why did he go bird hunting every morning during football season. His answer: I believe in the work ethic, not the work, work, work ethic. Both creativity and common sense depend on finding some time away from work. I’ve put tother a few postings based on works by Chicago Publisher Gregory Pierce, who has the best perspective I’ve seen on sprituality in the workplace.

  2. Herb Ely says:

    oops. Try this link . Did I tell you the part about sprituality of work involving 1) striving for quality and 2) accepting the fact that we are error prone?