Blackberry Manners

Someone passed me a note on Blackberry manners. I use a Blackberry, and I am quite sure that I have never acted this way:

You’re engaged in an important conversation with a colleague when you notice his attention is suddenly diverted by an email arriving on his BlackBerry device.

As he begins tapping out a response to some far-flung correspondent, you stand by, aimlessly gazing at the ceiling tiles. Your conversation is apparently over.

Henceforth, this act of technology-induced incivility shall be dubbed a “Blackberry.” Used in a sentence, you might say to someone who discourteously ignores you: “Hey, you’re BlackBerrying me,” or “What’s with this BlackBerry treatment?”

Fact is, no other piece of modern technology has had such a profound negative impact on good manners. The basic rules of civilized social conduct developed over thousands of years are now instantly dismissed with impunity every time an email arrives in a Blackberry device somewhere on the planet.

The new BlackBerry-influenced rules of behaviour state that it is entirely appropriate to wave off friends, family, clients and colleagues mid-sentence with a brief finger point at the handheld device, the new universal gesture indicating something more important has come up.

3 replies
  1. Rob Haskell
    Rob Haskell says:

    I will add cell phone use to perhaps start a list of these rude technologically oriented gestures.

    “…I am in the middle of a conversation with my now 20 something children and get brushed off by the constant ringing of their cell phones. They of course answer it, interrupting our talk. Apparently the caller is more important than me, even before they answer…..”

  2. Stephen Meyer
    Stephen Meyer says:

    That’s interesting. I find that more than anyone, my parents often interupt our conversations to attend to their cell phones. However, I would not assume that the caller in more important than I am, just using a more effective medium. Maybe you should just call your children 😉

  3. Rob Haskell
    Rob Haskell says:

    I am not sure I agree a personal face to face conversation is a less effective medium than a cell phone conversation – one can glean interesting perspectives from looking someone in the face.

    However, to your point, we have called our children on their cell phones to advise dinner was getting cold. We don’t make a habit of it, though.


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