Sunday, January 18, 2009

Senior Moment -Blackberry Recall

Recently I got an alert on the BB of a situation that I needed to follow up. I responded and asked for a contact number to reach out. After the exchange I realized that I could have BB to the person directly from the get. As I realized it I sent back that I had a lapse of memory no need to respond. The retort I received was that I had a senior moment. So it was! Since then I’ve been thinking about the instance and the impetus that got me moving forward on this blog, even though I thought about doing one for some time.

My premiere blog asked about a Blackberry Etiquette, since BB is all the rave these days.
Using technology is a must and we will all use it as we see fit. The use may be orderly, deliberate, impulsive, erratic, polite or intense. Folks pull out their gadgets anytime and all the time to send, receive, check, double check and some just to play with it. In the workplace however or when we are otherwise engaged with another live, person I think we should display some courtesy and common sense. Not every buzz needs attention so why interrupt present company. I guess I will have to take the high road anytime I think that the use could have been delayed or handled more respectfully or professionally. I could take a deep breath; I could roll my eyes or empathize with the user as over zealous or pretentious. If it is not an emergency or some information is expected that needs an immediate response, then perhaps we can view that user as lacking professionalism and business savvy. Courtesy and respect are as transparent as cellophane tape.

My main concern for what I think is the over-use of the BB is its impact on our psyche. What may appear as the potential diminution of the appreciation and respect for human interaction because of our attention to a gadget? Granted it is another individual we are responding to via the gadget however they are not in front of the user. That ought to count for something. After all how important do you feel when you are being ignored or paused while the attention is given to the BB and that use is not relevant to your discussion or meeting. Can you always appreciate that? Why not do unto others……, or maybe not!

I am a social scientist whose interest is in preserving the human species more or less as we know it. Understanding that we are who we are and what make us grow and self actualize, you know persevere, is nurture and nature. I am not archaeological. My thing is not to learn how or why things have become extinct or how we have adapted to interact socially with gadgets at the expense of relating person to person, after the fact. My thing is looking at the things we do or fail to do that result in these losses in a time sensitive manner. This way we can make adjustments and fix the problem as we move forward. Yeah, social science, archaeology, they are part and parcel of each other but for me I want to look at the unique things and nature in us and preserve it while we are still present. This way we can persevere, apply our resilience and continue to be loving, caring people. As I said earlier, technology is new, its now and the wave of the future. Our creative genius continues to produce more and more gadgets that we consider progress and forward thinking. These gadgets as we are seeing, although positive, can lead to more isolation or anti social behavior, while we are together, - if you can imagine that. I am one of those geeks; I like the gadgets and I have a good grasp of most of them, they are great. Let’s keep the use in perspective.

So, as I reflect on my senior moment, time so fleeting, I will from here on in talk about the little things that are dear to me, the things, encounters, experiences, episodes that we all see, have and find endearing or interesting, to be the focus of our exchanges.

Remember to come back here often, comment always and stop and smell the flowers everyday!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blackberry Etiquette

Is there a Blackberry etiquette? Should there be a Blackberry etiquette?

How do you use your Blackberry or texting device at work, you know the business issue? Are you compulsive? Do you look at it periodically or constantly and respond even when you are in a meeting or other business activity with colleagues or bosses or staffs? Do you feel you must respond as soon as the buzz go off? is it life or death everytime the thing goes off? The concern is not so much the phone call function of the device either.

I am beginning to wonder about those individuals who are so wired to the BB that it can't stop a buzz before they pull it out to read and to respond. I am all for multi-tasking and efficiency but what gives. How does the interaction with the gadget affect the interaction or relationship with the human that you were interacting with before it buzzed? I quess if he/she is similiarly interrupting the interaction to respond to the device it may not be an issue. What if this BB communique is one sided, even if it happens to an avid user, not using during this exchange, how does it affect that person. You know, stopping to look at the BB or glancing at it to see who sent the text/message is one thing, but to stop to read and craft a response?

It seems to me that some people behave as if the BB is a life line so as soon as it gets a message the response must be instantaneous, if just to say I hear you and will get back. If not, the sky will fall. Is there such an urgency , real or percieved, to hit back at the drop of an incoming? Do you need to disrupt a meeting or presentation to 'play' with the device?

There are so many questions as I try to wrap my mind around the practice of the dogged attention to the device. Folks are so controlled that interaction with present company must pause so that the in coming message can be read and responded to. I can't appreciate that urgency so I ask you people.

Question: Are you consumed by the BB? Do you find 'talking' on the device more enjoyable than continuing with the person in front of you? Are you compelled by the buzz to do something- hit back. Or is it the directive or expectation that you should drop everything and BB. An addiction to the buzz? Granted we interrupt conversations to pick up a phone in a many cases, in some cases it is an automatic response, I guess we have come to expect that. And because the responses become automatic or expected we move to the conference room, you know away from the phones, to meet or iron out some issues or coordinate the game plan. Now, that's lost, no solace because the BB goes along and co-opt the no interruption zone.

How do you feel when someone interrupt your conversation or meeting to respond to the buzz? Is it necessary to respond immediately if there is no blood (depending on your field of business). Is a few minutes, an hour too late to get back?
Is it because of fear of loosing your job if you fail to respond immediately, even if you are otherwise engaged on the job! Again I ask, is an immediate response the expectation or a need?
These devices and the technology works extremely well, minus the blackouts and need for patches. It is the expectation that the message will make it to the mailbox. It's going to land where you send it if you didnt make a mistake with the address.

What is the rule, the etiquette for business use of the BB during the work day OR can there be such rule, a Ms Manners practice to BB use or in a social setting? Mind you if you are on your own doing your thing, by all means respond immediately, no big deal. Why interrupt the training, the conversation, the meeting.

Bloggers everywhere what is with this obsession and how does it bode for the future of society and human-ness? How much interruption can you tolerate during a meeting, a conversation - non-text. Are we getting to the place where we prefer to talk or interact with a gadget than with another person or people for a short while?

Tell me, tell me, please!