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Americans Split on 'Always On' Culture

Americans Split on 'Always On' Culture

Is there such thing as BlackBerry backlash? A new research study finds many users of wireless devices such as BlackBerry, Palm Treo and similar 'smartphones' struggle with the blurring of boundaries between life and work. The jury is split on whether devices like BlackBerry or Treo liberate or chain people to their work - an issue I ponder far too often when I wake up in the middle of the night and see the red "you have a message" light blinking on my BlackBerry.


Thirty-three percent of the people polled agreed with the statement "devices like BlackBerry chain you to work more than they liberate you, while 33 percent were neutral and the balance, 34 percent, disagreed. For more of the survey findings, just read more

While smartphones give users the ability to get work done outside the office, the survey showed that owners were somewhat more likely to work long hours, not less.

  • Among those who own a BlackBerry or a similar device, 19 percent worked for more than 50 hours a week, compared to 11 percent average.
  • Among owners of BlackBerry or a similar device, 53 percent agreed with the statement "I don't have enough 'me' time," compared to 40 percent average.
  • When asked to choose between time and money, 56 percent of those who own a BlackBerry or a similar device chose 'time' and 44 percent chose money.

"Contrary to shiny happy ads suggesting we do more in less time, in fact, there is evidence to suggest that we simply do more, more of the time," said Kaan Yigit, study director for Digital Life America. "While being always on in a social context is a natural for young people, many of those in the 25-54 age group with families and corporate jobs are struggling with work-life blending. There is a need for the mainstream workplace culture to offer ways to counterbalance."

So what about you, would you pick time, or money?

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