The nickname ‘Crackberry’ was applied to Blackberry cell phones early on in its use, and it stuck. There is even a website called crackberry.com that claims to be the number one site for Blackberry users and abusers. Obviously, there is a reason behind the name and the comparison of the phone to the addictive substance, crack cocaine.
- Geek disease - Every geek had to have one as soon as they came on the market. The large screen, lots of little buttons and multi-functioning capabilities had them foaming at the mouth.
- Addictive – Of course, the main reason for the name was related to its apparent addictive qualities. Once a person owned a Blackberry, you never saw them without it. They not only carried it with them everywhere, but they seldom put it down or took their eyes off it.
- Compulsive – The instant communication capabilities of the Blackberry when it first arrived on the scene were novel to the cell phone user. The ability to receive and respond to your emails on your phone was quite an amazing feature, but it also meant that you were being bombarded with the sense that you needed to respond immediately to each new email that came in.
- Expensive – As with cocaine, the ‘crackberries’ were also a very expensive habit to maintain. They cost hundreds of dollars for the unit itself and then there were the monthly data plans to carry all the functionality to the phone, besides.
- Peer pressure - “You have to get one!” with the Blackberry seemed to be as affective with the geek crowd as the “You have to try this!” with the crowd that was into drugs. Peer pressure isn’t the least bit limited to one social group or the other.
- Zoning – You’ve seen ‘the zone’, haven’t you? Their eyes are fixed, and they seem to be oblivious to everything and everyone else around them? The only difference with the Blackberry addict is that his eyes are fixed on an electronic device.
- Withdrawal – A Crackberry user will suffer withdrawal if he is forced to do without his phone for more than a few hours at a time. Symptoms of the with include nervousness, irritability and a lack of focus.
- Euphoria – If you watched a new Blackberry user immediately after receiving their first Blackberry, you would witness an obvious sense of euphoria flooding their face.
- Behavior modification – The possession of the Blackberry created a definite change in behavioral patterns of the owner. They became much less verbal in their communication and began to prefer to use their thumbs for sending short email messages via their phones.
- Cracked screens – There is one additional reason for the ‘crackberry’ nickname that came from a very different direction, that being the frequency of cracked LCD screens on Blackberries. Blackberries have not fared well when dropped on concrete or sent flying off the top of a car after being left their by their owner. Cracked screens, of course, often lead to the symptoms of withdrawal, listed above.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons the Blackberries gained their nickname of Crackberries. It appears to be quite fitting.