The BlackBerry Brush-Off: Ranking Digital Age Rudeness

What Women Really Think
June 11 2009 4:59 PM

The BlackBerry Brush-Off: Ranking Digital Age Rudeness

My favorite part of this week's crack up of the New York legislature is Governor Patterson's plea, "Think of the lobbyists!" My next favorite part is that Tom Golisano, the businessman who seems to have prodded two Democratic state senators into flipping to the GOP and instigating a Republican takeover, says he got mad at the Dems after a meeting at which Senate majority leader Malcolm Smith couldn't take his eyes off his BlackBerry . Ah, the BlackBerry brush off. I think I'd put that at the top of a list of digital age breaches of etiquette. As in:

1. Constant BlackBerry distraction during one-on-one meeting. Extra black mark if over lunch.

Emily Bazelon Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

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2. During meeting or lunch, answering call on cell phone, and talking for more than 30 seconds (unless it's your spouse or the babysitter).

3. Talking loudly on cell phone while everyone else in the room is trying to have a conversation. Which is what people do when they get together.

4. Typing audibly during phone call because you are, no not recording the every word of the person on the other end of the line, but answering someone else's e-mail.

5. On the phone, silently checking e-mail so that when the person you're talking to asks a question, a long pause ensues. At the end of which you have to say, "Ah, what did you just ask me?"

Other nominations?