Monica Hesse has a fun story in today’s Washington Post that examines a trend in cultural disturbia — that of the Blackberry-interrupted conversation. Hasn’t this happened to you too many times to count?
Oh, no! He’s fading fast! Eyes drifting downward. Responses becoming monosyllabic. No! No, buddy! Pay attention! Did you hear the one about the foreclosed psychic? She was re-possessed. Ha, ha! Just stop that incessant thumb-typing, and give this exchange a chance!
Try to have a conversation with someone, an uninterrupted lunch or dinner, a heart-to-heart with your college-age son or daughter, or any kind of in-depth exchange these days, and you’ve inevitably been there. Playing sloppy seconds to a Blackberry, or a PDA of another name.
I love technology as much as anyone else, but come on. What happened to the “off” button? If you can turn it off during a Broadway play, can’t you make the effort when we’re trying to have a simple conversation?
Now all that you, the former half of two communicating people, can do is awkwardly stand there and deal with the fact that you are less engaging than a five-ounce piece of plastic. It’s maddening — or maybe it’s just a simple question of etiquette: What is the appropriate course of action when you have been abandoned for a Personal Digital Assistant?
Read about “the four stages of Blackberry abandonment” in Hesse’s timely piece, Text is Cheap.