Patterico's Pontifications

12/9/2006

If a BlackBerry Is a “CrackBerry,” Then What Is a Treo?

Filed under: Gadgets,Humor — Patterico @ 2:53 pm

Xrlq links to this highly amusing Wall Street Journal article about the widespread addiction many have to their BlackBerries (or “CrackBerries”) and/or Treos — and the costs that this addiction imposes on the families of the addicts. My favorite parts are this passage:

In Austin, Texas, Hohlt Pecore, 7, and his sister, Elsa, 4, have complicated relationships with their mother’s BlackBerry. “I feel very annoyed,” says Hohlt. “She’s always concentrating on that blasted thing.” (Hohlt says he picked up the word “blasted” from the film “Pirates of the Caribbean.”)

Elsa has hidden the BlackBerry on occasion — Hohlt says she tried to flush it down the toilet last year. Their mother, Elizabeth Pecore, who co-owns a specialty grocery store, denies the incident. But Elsa also seems to recognize that it brings her mom comfort, not unlike a pacifier or security blanket. Recently, seeing her mom slumped on the couch after work, Elsa fished the BlackBerry from her mother’s purse and brought it to her. “Mommy,” she asked, “will this make you feel better?”

Emma Colonna wishes her parents would behave, at least when they’re out in public. The ninth-grade student in Port Washington, N.Y., says she has caught her parents typing emails on their Treos during her eighth-grade awards ceremony, at dinner and in darkened movie theaters. “During my dance recital, I’m 99% sure they were emailing except while I was on stage,” she says. “I think that’s kind of rude.”

and this one:

Lucas Ellin, the son of “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin, says his dad checks his email at restaurants, during Lucas’s soccer games and on school visits. Lucas sometimes tries to divert his father’s focus away from the device by hiding it or taking his dad’s face in his hands to physically get his attention. When nothing else works, Lucas turns to the highest of authorities. “I go tell my mom that Daddy’s not listening and then my mom yells at him,” he says.

I strenuously deny that any such thing has ever happened in my household. Uh, not that you asked.

13 Responses to “If a BlackBerry Is a “CrackBerry,” Then What Is a Treo?”

  1. BlackBerry Orphans…

    WSJ reports on “BlackBerry Orphans,” a phenomenon so serious that they’re letting non-subscribers read about it.
    As hand-held email devices proliferate, they are having an unexpected impact on family dynamics: Parents and their childr…

    Outside The Beltway | OTB (30d6b6)

  2. So these parents would be parents of the year but for their message gadget?

    It’s possible, but it’s hard for me to believe. Perhaps society is just changing to the point where more people are in jobs requiring this much communication.

    Dustin (ea244e)

  3. Crackberry is to Blackberry as Treoine is to Treo?

    Patricia (824fa1)

  4. The article paints a sad portrait of obsessive, immature adults. However, their children seem mature beyond their years and most have an excellent vocabulary. So they’ve got that going for them.

    DRJ (a41dd4)

  5. Heh. After a serious connectivity addiction/job from ’96-01, wherein I found, um, personal activities with my then partner interrupted by various electronic methods that allowed others to get my attention, I banned them from my life, and refuse to have a cell phone. If I’m not in my home/office, I dont want to be contacted. Normally not a problem, because my business ties me to my house almost all the time, but still. When I go out for dinner or a pint, I’m not contactable. What a bleak, horrible future we live in.

    fishbane (3389fc)

  6. “I strenuously deny? Is that how it works? ‘Disbelieved.’ ‘No, no, no, no, I *strenuously* deny.’ ‘Oh, well if you strenuously object, let me take a moment to reconsider.'”

    :)

    Anwyn (9b5f79)

  7. That article is just a series of anecdotes posing as a trend article. Jack Shafer has some apropos words on this bad habit. Words like “many” and “some” are weasel-words, used to disguise the lack of hard data. If it were presented just as a string of anecdotes, the article would be fine, but it pretends to charting some larger-scale phenomenon.

    Like this: “The refusal of parents to follow a few simple rules is pushing some children to the brink.”

    How many children? Has anything like a rigorous survey been conducted? Not that the article mentions, and it should make note of that.

    Or this: “Some mental-health professionals report that the intrusion of mobile email gadgets and wireless technology into family life is a growing topic of discussion in therapy.”

    Or this: “For many parents, finding the right balance is a struggle.”

    How many? The article gives no numbers.

    This article is empty journalistic calories — tasty, but not nutritious.

    Bradley J. Fikes (19f52f)

  8. i hear that typing on blackberries makes your thumbs sore. if treos have tiny buttons, same thing.
    saw an article about the sf 49ers before the new orleans game, qb alex smith was texting his old high school backfield teammate, reggie bush, on a blackberry. first thing i’d do if i were the coach, take it away from him. last thing we need is a qb with sore thumbs.

    assistant devil's advocate (15036f)

  9. Regardless if its a fluff piece or not, I sure wouldn’t call it a ‘highly amsuing’ piece….more like another sad evidence of the sign of the times. As if modern families weren’t already struggling to remina intact, and children weren’t already screwed up enough by popped into daycare 12 hours a day….now we have another form of ‘absent parents’. How depressing.

    Dana (fb5130)

  10. My theory is that the constant flow of messages from lots of different people, combined with a snazzy gizmo that not long ago was in the realm of science fiction, makes us feel important. We add to that feeling of self-importance by convincing ourselves that we have to respond RIGHT NOW and we have to check for messages RIGHT NOW or we might miss something crucial. The truth is, few of us are so important that our messages can’t wait for a few hours or even a day while we tend to our real lives. The here and now should always take precedence. It’s not just more polite, it’s smarter, because we have a limited amount of time in this world and we shouldn’t forget to experience it.

    Steve M. (7ec335)

  11. Al Gore must be hooked on crackberries why else is he suc a crack-pot?

    krazy kagu (5e1710)

  12. do you feel brio when you’re on your treo?

    assistant devil's advocate (1c70a8)


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