1. Admit we were powerless over our CrackBerries — that our lives have become unmanageable without the little gadgets and that, like Pavlovian dogs, we are slaves to its bleeps, vibrations, buzzes and rings.
2. Admit to the universe, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our CrackBerry addiction. Admit that while you might look like you’re praying you are really just texting someone about that chick in HR/guy in the mail room. That you don’t respond to your children unless they vibrate first. That your spouse communicates with you during lovemaking through e-mail -- ‘To: Bob Smith. From: Wife. Subject: Left a little bit.’
3. We must come to believe that only the greater power of wireless-lessness can restore us to sanity.
4. We must make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the power of unconnectedness and eschew knowing if someone is mailing us at this very minute.
5. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of our CrackBerry use – do we shamelessly put our BlackBerries on the table in a bar to present a false sense of importance; do we drive and compose e-mail at the same; do we rudely ignore our co-workers, loved ones and children in order to take that “important call” from Ron, the lounge lizard from accounts?
6. Make a list of all persons we have harmed through our rudeness, inconsideration and pretentious self-involvement, and make amends to them all. Sincerely and in person, not via text message -- ‘sory 4 bng a rde bstrd. wnt hppn agn.’
7. Turn off the CrackBerry. Now. No “I’m expecting an important call.” No “My life depends on Shirley getting me those numbers.” No “I’m almost finished my Sudoko game.” Turn it off now. Stop looking at it expectantly. Seriously, stop.
8. Realize that you are not the center of the universe. If someone can’t get a hold of you they will have to wait. That waiting is a natural state. That failure to reach you 24/7 will not mean the end of the world. The universe will not implode, the apocalypse will not happen if Ron/Jeanie doesn’t get a hold of you and has to wait until lunch time to find out if you got lucky with that chick from HR/guy from the mail room.
9. Set limits on BlackBerry use. Use only during business hours. Lock it up when on vacation – you can’t do anything from Cabo anyway. Turn off the vibration feature. Yes girls this means you too. Set a time to review e-mail. Don’t set that time when you are operating a vehicle.
10. Turn off the BlackBerry during all meetings, classes, presentations, weddings and funerals. No one wants you to interrupt the eulogy. Especially if you are giving it.
11. Know that the world actually functioned before BlackBerries and that people managed to survive with ancient tools like phones and desktop computers. While it was a long time ago (circa 2005) there are people still alive who remember this time. Seek out these people and ask them about life back then. And take their advice and learn from them.
12. Having fulfilled these steps know that you control the CrackBerry. It does not control you. That access is a two-way street. That it is a tool, not a chain. That you can relate to actual human beings too.
13. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, carry this message to all CrackBerry addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.