Are we too connected?

So apparently, the lives of several million people were woefully impacted yesterday for about three hours when the had to take a break from their Blackberry and realize that there is life outside of a smart phone.

Cause it was down. For the second time in nine years, as users, according to the Blackberry people, "experienced intermittent delays."

I remember when cell phones were for the obnoxious and annoying who used them as status symbols.

Same with the Blackberry - or, as it's called, the Crack-berry - but even more so because of the level of connection you have with the office, while being outside the office.

But really, do we need to be this connected to our jobs? Take this piece of the story from the Associated Press where crackberry user vents:
Outages have been rare in the BlackBerry's nine-year history, but when they do hit, subscribers who have become addicted to the gadgets are quick to unleash their fury.

"I'm mad — it's enough already," said a frustrated Stuart Gold, who said he gets 1,000 e-mails a day as director of field marketing for Web analytics company Omniture Inc.

Gold, who worked most of Monday on a laptop while traveling, plans to ask his company to buy him a backup smart phone from a rival like Palm Inc., which makes the Treo, in case BlackBerry service goes on the blink again.

"I don't know what happened, I don't care what happened. They need to save their excuses for someone who cares," Gold said.

I understand Stuart's frustration. Maybe.

But really ... is Stuart *that* important? 1,000 emails a day? On a crackberry? And he still has working thumbs?

Maybe he's just frustrated because he's named Stuart and has no life outside of his 1,000 emails a day - most of which, I'm guessing, deal with enlarging his manhood, finding him a Russian Mail Order Bride, offering him $999 for online gambling or informing him of a relative in some African or Eastern European country who's tragically died with no apparent heirs, but left millions of dollars in the bank that for a small transfer fee, can be direct-deposited into his account here, in the US, as long as he gives them the account number.

(Oh, wait, that's my spam box. And I've yet to receive any of that - despite giving out my bank account, buying a woman, and a bigger penis. I stay away from the gambling sites - I'm pretty sure they're a scam .... but really, if that's my spam box, I'm sure his is worse. Because he's named Stuart.)

And no, it's not tech envy. I'm not really a gadgety person. I want a phone that's a phone. I want a music player that's a music player. I want a computer that's a computer. Not some all-in-one toy I can flash around. Besides, I used a crackberry. One week. For a job I had. Was enough. Don't want one, don't care to have one.

Do I understand the market? Sure. Do I support crackberrys and their users? Sure.

Sadly, I know enough people like Stuart who feel the need to be that connected with work, rather than life.

Like the saying goes, nobody on their deathbed ever says, "Man, I wish I would have worked more."

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