I have a Blackberry. I love the connectivity it gives me when I am away on business. All in all it, and other e-mail and web enabled portable devices, are among the finest technologies developed in the last 20 years. There is only one problem with these devices - the users. It almost never fails these days. In the middle of a conversation or meeting some one's trousers or purse jingle and, irrespective of the gravity of the conversation, that person reaches for the device to check the message. Often the message is taken "under the table" in an attempt to make fellow communicants believe that the individual is still following the conversation. It seldom works. Other times, the message recipient is bold, whipping the device out openly in glorious declaration that whatever you might be saying bears no weight compared to what might pop up on the miniature screen. These actions are rude, disruptive and counterproductive. We managed to run the industry and the world for decades without instaneous connectivity. To be sure, we could do that again, although most of us would not want to. But we don't have to be slaves to these devices. So, if your Blackberry/I-Phone/etc. should ring while you are talking to me, please resist the urge to answer the call or check the message unless there is a crisis in progress and the message/call is critical. I guarantee you will get a scowl from me.
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