One of the first posts I ever wrote on this lil ol blog o mine was entitled “Blackberry or Crackberry?“ Since that time, I did end up using a Blackberry a few more times, typically when I was traveling overseas and had a loaner phone/email device. Hated it. I hate that little red flashing light. It’s a beckoning sign of evil, coming straight from
Google the devil. It causes malice. I’m convinced of that.
Even without the dreaded device (and I guess this is about the right time for me to make a point absurdly clear: the Blackberry is unquestionably the best mobile email device ever made), I still had mobile email through the end of last year, mostly with a Sprint PPC-6700. Also a great device, but the email experience was a lot more mellow than the Blackberry. Maybe it’s because Windows Mobile didn’t implement it quite as well as RIM, I’m not sure. I’ve also tried the Q, the Blackjack, the Dash (love the Dash), the HTC MTeoR (love it too), and others. All good for mobile email. All gone from my life.
I’m 4 months free from my last mobile email, and I don’t know what metric there is to use, but I’m unquestionably happier about it than ever. I’ll tell you something else – I haven’t missed a deadline, opportunity, or any other work-related event as a result. Yes, that’s right – life seems to progress even if my email doesn’t come in 30 seconds after I land at an airport.
With my new Samsung SCH-u740 (can they not come up with a better name for this device?), I have the option to get mobile email activated. I’m not doing it. And its not as if my email flow is that much lower than in the past, it’s just that I’ve consciously chosen I don’t want mobile email in my life. The reason? Mobile email access makes your life worse.
You can call it a quality of life thing. You can call it a digital zen thing. You can label this behavior however you choose, but I can say this with certainty: I don’t know or encounter anyone with mobile email who doesn’t act tethered. Having mobile email means you are giving other people control over how you spend your free time. It doesn’t liberate you from work, that’s really just how people convince themselves to carry the anchor with them.
And don’t just take my word for it…
“With 67 percent of respondents admitting to having used a wireless device to connect to work while on vacation, signs indicated that the American workforce may be facing burnout,” she added.