My name is blackgirlgrown. I am a Blackberry addict. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Fortunately, I’m not as bad as some people. And it’s one of the few things I have in common with President Obama. We have a common Blackberry addict bond. I’ve also been quite the Blackberry pusher, responsible for getting countless numbers of friends, colleagues, and complete strangers hooked on the device. If only I had bought stock as an early adopter. I might have 4 pennies instead of 2 to rub together today.
And my Blackberry is not just trivially used to make phone calls and send email. I manage the worldwide headquarters of blackgirlgrown on my new 8900 Blackberry Curve. Though it takes some ingenuity, I can draft and post to the blog, twitter, manage my bevy of online accounts and logins. And then there is Viigo which in and of itself is life-changing.
But even I get perturbed by poor Blackberry (and technology in general) manners. Yes, I am a constant Blackberry checker, but I know think I know when to reel it in. And then there are instances where everyone should know better including:
- Texting in the movie theatre: Idiot, the light from your phone is screwing with my movie ambiance.
- Consummate Bluetooth wearers: Really, you’re not that busy or important. Put it in your pocket. You’re channeling Captain Kirk.
- Using any type of PDA in church, at a funeral, or other solemn occasion.
- Offensive Ringtones in the Workplace: People who don’t have enough sense to turn their phones on silent, and then scurry through their pockets to turn off their too loud, “Blame it on the Alcohol” ring tone.
The New York Times writes on the growing debate on Blackberry/PDA rules and etiquette. And the measures some are taking to enforce them:
As Web-enabled smartphones have become standard on the belts and in the totes of executives, people in meetings are increasingly caving in to temptation to check e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, even (shhh!) ESPN.com.
But a spirited debate about etiquette has broken out. Traditionalists say the use of BlackBerrys and iPhones in meetings is as gauche as ordering out for pizza. Techno-evangelists insist that to ignore real-time text messages in a need-it-yesterday world is to invite peril.
In Hollywood, both the Creative Artists Agency and United Talent Agency ban BlackBerry use at meetings. Tom Golisano, a billionaire and power broker in New York State politics, said last week that he pushed to remove Malcolm A. Smith as the State Senate majority leader after the senator met with him on budget matters in April and spent the time reading e-mail on his BlackBerry.
The phone use has become routine in the corporate and political worlds — and grating to many. A third of more than 5,300 workers polled in May by Yahoo HotJobs, a career research and job listings Web site, said they frequently checked e-mail in meetings. Nearly 20 percent said they had been castigated for poor manners regarding wireless devices.
Despite resistance, the etiquette debate seems to be tilting in the favor of smartphone use, many executives said. Managing directors do it. Summer associates do it. It spans gender and generation, private and public sectors.
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