OLD Media Moves

Getting a grip on life

December 15, 2006

TheDeal.com’s executive editor Yvette Kantrow noted that a recent string of articles in business publications about how technology is helping people work longer and even at home was thankfully broken by a Wall Street Journal piece that questioned what it means for kids at home.

Blackberry and BalsillieKantrow wrote, “With all this pro-work propaganda floating about, and the concept of work-life balance being so last century, we were relieved to see a piece in The Wall Street Journal that injected some realism into the issue, or at least explored its downside. “Blackberry Orphans,” announced the lead story in Weekend Journal on Dec. 8. ‘The growing use of e-mail gadgets is spawning a generation of resentful children,’ it informed. The story was filled with anecdotes from kids as young as 4 complaining about e-mail-addicted parents, including the 9-year-old who is afraid his father’s ‘proclivity for typing while driving’ is going to cause an auto accident. (‘Some e-mails are important enough to look at en route,’ the father retorts.) There’s also a ninth-grader who caught her parents e-mailing during a school awards ceremony, and, she’s fairly certain, during her dance recital.

“Not everyone in the piece is sympathetic to these complaints, of course. ‘Would you rather have your parents 20% not there or 100% not there’? asks Jim Balsillie, chairman of BlackBerry developer Research In Motion Ltd. Well, Jim, are those our only choices?

“We couldn’t help but wonder if some of these BlackBerry-addicted adults simply prefer reading e-mails to dealing with whiny kids with lots of demands. Indeed, some parents admit that they check their messages more often than they need to but can’t seem to stop themselves.”

Read more here. It’s a nice look at a contrarian piece of business journalism.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.