I sit at a table for two in the middle of a chic restaurant near my place. One of those restaurants where everyone is slowly sipping a glass of red wine, as they banter over lamb and risotto. As I sit at my candlelit table, I peer around, people watching as if there’s no tomorrow. Other folks do the same. Eye contact is made, then broken. I catch a guy on his Blackberry, as his (pressumed) girlfriend/date sits across from him. I watch her so obviously pretend she doesn’t care and/or isn’t offended by him clicking away as if she isn’t even there with him. I wonder who he is pinning in the middle of this intimate restaurant, and why he is pinning in that current moment while she fidgets. I zoom in on her discontent and his oblivious.
Sitting directly across from me, is the man who shares my dinner table. Well dressed in faded black jeans and a 3/4 length plaid button up, he pulls out his turquoise covered Blackberry Bold and I suddenly feel a sense of relief. I can now pull out mine too, I think to myself, as I reach into my Prada Antik Gathered clutch, and pull out my pink covered Blackberry alternate. I anxiously check my Bbm and text message inbox, looking up at him to ensure he’s still on his Blackberry so I can resume sending messages on mine. Plus it definitely helps that the guy I’m dining with is my brother. No ‘Who are you messaging?’ and ‘Why is he paying more attention to his phone then me?’ questions emerge out loud or in my head. (Ever notice how curious you are about other people messaging in your pretty little presence, but never think twice when you are playing the hypocrite heroine?)
Blackberry Etiquette. There is definitely such a thing, but what are the rules and when do we get to break them? I must say, that I love when I’m out for dinner with a friend, and they reach for their beloved Blackberry. It’s like a permission slip for me to use mine. A go-ahead, a nudge, it’s ok Jenny Jen, you can use it conscious free. They set the tone by pulling out theirs, I can certainly follow suit with the knowingness that I cannot offend the other by pulling out mine (And yes my few male readers who read my blog off their girlfriends computer, I’m still talking about Blackberry’s here.) But is the pulling out of Blackberry’s appropriate behaviour in general? Should we be whipping out our Blackberry’s left right and center when out for dinner with friends, waking up in someones bed, shopping for groceries and at red lights? Are we pushing the Blackberry limits too much in social gatherings?
I’m in the camp that thinks pulling it out is justified, dependent on the circumstances and so long as the other person is on theirs too. We’ve become such socially connected little butterflies in this day in age, and it is totally understanding that messages and calls are coming through and some are just begging to be responded in a timely fashion.
Here is a list of when I think you’re in the clear to peak at your mobile device:
– when the person you are with has theirs out
– when you excuse yourself from the dinner table while on a date, to check in with your friends who you have plans with following the date (a little hush-hush wouldn’t hurt a fly)
– when you have multiple missed calls from someone and you want to let them know you’ll get back to them at a more suitable time, but don’t want to rudely answer the phone while at the table. In this case you can send a quick text or Bbm beneath the table; in a little more of a subtler fashion, though obvious nonetheless
– when you are on the date-from-hell and need some friend out there, somewhere on your 107 friend Bbm list to come save your ‘I’m-never-going-on-a-blind-date-again’ ass
– when the person you’re with goes to the washroom. Us Blackberry addicts live for this moment almost as much as we live for the moment when our company pulls out their phone. This is the most opportune time for you to get away with checking what your little flashing red light indicator is going on about. But don’t be fooled, your friend who left for the “washroom” is likely doing the same thing
– if you are expecting more people to meet up with you and those who you are with, it is understandable that you’ll be direction texting and what to wear, ‘this is what so-and-so is wearing’ messaging. I mean come on, of course that’s ok!
When not to pull out your mobile:
– on a first date. If you must use it, pawn off the washroom as an excuse
– while out for dinner with your parents and anyone who is 40 years+. They just don’t get how we can’t miss a thumb-typing minute and you’ll end up having to use up conversation in defense mode, listening to a flurry of sentences that start off with the words, ‘Back in my day…’
– when under the influence. Alcohol+cell phone is a cocktail that doesn’t mix well together. Save it for the morning when your impulses and lack of control aren’t in full force.
– near water. There’s nothing like dropping your mobile in a hot tub, sink, or even toilet. Get your shower over with and then send a text. No one like’s an anxious, always-there responder anyways
– at a friends birthday. Chances are all your friends are there anyways. Blackberry’s are addictive, but no need to just do it for the sake of doing it. Put the phone aside and put all your attention of those who you are with. Same goes when you’re having a lovey-dovey night in with your significant other. Since this person is so used to seeing you message your life away, they will probably feel appreciative that they have your utmost attention
– at the club. Pull that baby out at the club and you’re just asking to lose it. We all remember my tale of ‘What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas, Including my Blackberry,’from a previous post. We also don’t need Beyonce and Lady Gaga’s new hit song Telephone to tell us that we shouldn’t be interrupted while on a girls night out