UMBC ebiquity
Etiquette of using your smartphone in a meeting

Etiquette of using your smartphone in a meeting

Tim Finin, 11:00pm 21 June 2009

The New York Times has an article on the etiquette of using your smart phone in meetings, At Meetings, It’s Mind Your BlackBerry or Mind Your Manners.

“As Web-enabled smartphones have become standard on the belts and in the totes of executives, people in meetings are increasingly caving in to temptation to check e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, even (shhh!) ESPN.com. But a spirited debate about etiquette has broken out. Traditionalists say the use of BlackBerrys and iPhones in meetings is as gauche as ordering out for pizza. Techno-evangelists insist that to ignore real-time text messages in a need-it-yesterday world is to invite peril.”

Professors have been dealing with this for several years, since most of our students come to class with their laptops. Maybe they are taking notes. But why is he smiling? Now he’s laughing! Was my comment on hill climbing really that funny?

Of course, the dynamics of this is different outside the classroom.

“In many professional circles, where connections are power, making a show of reaching out to those connections even as co-workers are presenting a spreadsheet presentation seems to have become a kind of workplace boast. Mr. Brotherton, the consultant, wrote in an e-mail message that it was customary now for professionals to lay BlackBerrys or iPhones on a conference table before a meeting — like gunfighters placing their Colt revolvers on the card tables in a saloon. “It’s a not-so-subtle way of signaling ‘I’m connected. I’m busy. I’m important. And if this meeting doesn’t hold my interest, I’ve got 10 other things I can do instead.’ ”


3 Responses to “Etiquette of using your smartphone in a meeting”

  1. Alex Says:

    Laptops and smartphones general, are using everywhere nowadays.

    So you can even use them in a meeting(to present something), on the class(presentation of exams,works,etc),etc.

  2. clee Says:

    We recently wrote a similar post about smartphone etiquette–it’s a hot topic these days!

    Check us out: http://uimagicinc.com/blog/?p=158

    I also thought of the parallels with laptop use and how that can be just as distracting. Nice post!

  3. Mohamed Says:

    Don’t use them in meetings. It’s even better to leave them on your desk, unless you are in a critical position where you need to keep your phone with you 24x7x365. I used to take my laptop to meetings, with the intention of keeping notes — but it’s frowned upon. Instead bring a notebook (paper one, of course) to the meeting and pay attention!

    Mohamed