Vanessa's CornerAs some of you might know, the dictionary has a new addiction, errrr, I mean, addition. CrackBerry. And I guess almost everyone knows what it means but I don’t think that everybody understands how one gets caught in the BlackBerry web. You might be new to the Crackberry experience or you might know someone that is deep and lost to its sleepless powers. Here’s a true story.

Hello. My name is Vanessa and I’m a CrackBerry addict. Years ago I experienced what a lot of spouses are only experiencing now. My husband was one of the “pioneers” of BlackBerry addiction. I couldn’t understand his obsession with this phone. Most of all, I couldn’t understand what was so fascinating about a bulky phone with tiny, almost impossible to type keys. It was like he had just had a baby and all he could talk about and read about was BlackBerry. BlackBerry this, BlackBerry that! He would make up a reason to go out just so he could check his email without having his laptop in front of him. We would be out to dinner and he would be constantly checking his email. If he wasn’t checking his email, he was telling me all about the great features of his device. Not exactly the best date you could have. All I wanted was to have a nice dinner with a real conversation that didn’t involve him typing or spinning a wheel. This black box was really getting on my nerves!

Last year we had this really long drive, 12 hours in a car. My husband started the drive. At the beginning there was music and conversation and then I realized the clock on the dashboard was broken. No, my watch was broken too! Alas no, actually we were both dying of boredom and time seemed to be running in slow motion. And that was when I first noticed that little light from the BlackBerry blinking at me. It kept calling my name and telling me: try me… try me… And just like that, my hands were wrapped around my biggest enemy of all time. And I started to become friends with my former nemesis.

After a couple of minutes I had figured out its powers and I was on a roll! I was the “queen” of the World Wide Web. I was reading emails, sending emails, checking up on the weather, looking at google maps. I didn’t want to let go of my new little friend. Meanwhile my husband kept saying that it was my turn to drive but I knew that what he really meant was that it was his turn to use the BlackBerry.

At the beginning of this year I was on the phone with one of my best friends. She lives in Germany and her husband had just started a new job and was awarded a BlackBerry. She complained how he kept staring at it all the time, how he couldn’t disconnect from it, how he kept sending replies to his boss at 11pm on a Saturday night. It’s like the BlackBerry had become his mistress and there was no space for her in his new world. And I had the most unexpected behavior… I started to defend him! And then it hit me! I had become one of them, I was a CrackBerry addict!

This is such a big phenomenon spreading around the world that I’m afraid what started as a joke, CrackBerry, might become more and more of a reality. If I were to go back to college now, I would study psychology and specialize in BlackBerry counseling. I can almost see people coming in and IMing me their problems from their BlackBerries. I would slowly encourage them to start using their voices again to communicate. I would have to hold their hands in mine as the urge to type would be too great. And session after session I would explain to them how they can disconnect, how they have the power to turn it off. And as we would do this, they would finally have that moment of relief that they had been longing for.

No more LED blinking, no more screen checking, no more wheel rolling. Just peace.

## This Article Was Originally Published by on November 13, 2006