Etiquette Tips For Blackberry Users
The handheld Blackberry has become a phenomenon with tech-savvy business people everywhere. They allow people to monitor their emails or talk as if on a cellphone, adding a new dimension of convenience to telecommunications. Some people find these devices so addictive that they are referred to as Crackberries. The problem is, your obsession for communicating with remote people is often seen as rude by the ones who are in your presence.
The Blackberry is marketed by Research In Motion, a Canadian firm which put the device on the market in 1999. Since that time, Blackberries have become the preferred telecommunications device for millions of former cellphone users. With its with the cutting edge deluxe edition Blackberry Pearl or the stripped down version, the Palm Treo, these devices seem omnipresent.
As with any new gadget which is used in a social setting, certain rules of etiquette need to be applied when using a Blackberry. This should be common sense. But since the first bulky cellphone was attached to a person’s belt, certain users of high tech telecommunications haven’t shown much thought or consideration for others around them. If you are afraid you are becoming one of these people, here are some tips on maintaining Blackberry etiquette.
1. Turn the Buzzer On
The first rule of etiquette is to leave your machine in buzz mode when you are in public. You might find your new ringtone ultra cool, but most of the people around you won’t. More than likely, they will think you are trying to show off you gadget. Nobody likes a showoff.
Blackberries were a status symbol when they first came out, because so few had them and they were comparatively expensive. As they have flooded the marketplace, you are just one of the crowd. Behaving as if you possess a rare status symbol makes you look lame.
2. Keep It In Your Pants
Masturberry is a term used for those who fiddle around with their Blackberries in a meeting. No one listens to the presentations, instead choosing to answer emails and text messages while pretending to pay attention.
This is noticeable. Not only is it rude, but it’s hardly going to impress the supervisor giving the presentation. Believe me; if you sit for 45 minutes looking down at your Blackberry, it’s going to be noticed.
3. Ditch the Headset
Nothing is ruder than answering a call when you are having a face-to-face conversation. I’ve had someone talking to me and then, without warning, suddenly start talking to someone on their headset. I walked away from that conversation and never looked back.
Remember this when you are using your Blackberry. It isn’t how cool it looks; it’s that you aren’t paying attention to your company. Why would you think that is impressive?
People want to send the message they are busy and have important calls and messages coming in to them. But you will seldom convince anyone that’s the case. Most of the time, the headset comes off as self-important and thoughtless. Besides, you look like a fool with a little earpiece sticking off the side of your head.
If you decide to stick with the headset, make sure to use blue tooth technology. This makes it less noticeable. Having wires run the length of your body is just geeky looking.
4. Give It a Rest
There are certain social situations where a telecommunications device is altogether inappropriate. When you visit a hospital, attend a church or funeral, work out at a gym or walk a museum, you should not be fiddling around with your Blackberry. Unless you are a doctor on call, no one is going to believe your message is so important that it can’t wait. They will think you are big-timing them.
Dinner dates are another setting you shouldn’t use the device. If you are out with friends, they should have your undivided attention. This goes doubly for a date. I suppose there might be some people out there who are impressed by a guy so important that he must answer text messages on a first date, but most self-respecting women will find the lack of consideration a turnoff. Good impressions are about eye contact and making a connection, not about showing off your latest toy.
5. Screen Your Emails
Have a filter for your emails. This way, every spam and reply won’t cause your Pearl to go off. Set it where only emergency emails from your boss get through. Forward the rest to a secondary email box at your home or office computer.
6. Keep It Between The Lines
This is the same as for cellphones. When you are in the car, keep your use of telecommunications devices to a bare minimum. This is dangerous for you and other drivers. If you decide its time to catch up on all these messages you’ve missed while out on dates, then make sure to employ the headset now, by all means. Driving while talking into a headset is still distracting, but it leaves both your hands free.
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