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.


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?


The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?

The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off

This Was the First Object Ever Designed

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 


How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.


A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …

The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.

Is Everyone Going to Declare Independence if Scotland Does It? 

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Trending News Channel
Sept. 12 2014 11:26 AM Identical Twins Aren’t Really Identical
  News & Politics
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
Sept. 14 2014 11:44 PM A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now … The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?