Communications devices that allow users to be "always-on", and able to receive e-mails whether they're at work or not, could be turning into a social problem.
The question about whether these devices liberate workers or chain them to their work is not a new one, but now research shows that there's a growing groundswell of opinion that it may not always be a good thing.
Survey data released from Digital Life America shows that Americans are split over whether constant connection is good or not – but it always results in more work for many.
Digital Life America asked 1 600 Americans whether devices like Blackberrys and smartphones "chain you to work more than they liberate you". The results were split exactly three ways: a third agreed, a third were neutral, and a third disagreed.
The survey also shows that those who own a BlackBerry are more likely to work long hours than those who didn't – although whether the Blackberyy is cause or effect is unclear.
It turns out that 19% of BlackBerry owners work more than 50 hours a week, compared to 11% of other workers. Meanwhile, 53% of BlackBerry owners feel they don't have enough personal time, compared to the 40% average. However, the average household income of BlackBerry owners was almost 50% higher than the national average so, as overachievers, the other figures could be the result of the users' personality traits rather than a result of the technology.