Most companies don’t have rules about smartphone use at work—but with more people eying their BlackBerrys during meetings, a debate is raging over smartphone conduct, the New York Times reports. Many call excessive BlackBerrying the height of rudeness, but others hold that today’s world requires constant electronic availability. “Consultants who aren’t readily available 24/7 tend to languish,” says a media consultant.
For some, displaying smartphones is “a not-so-subtle way of signaling ‘I’m connected. I’m busy. I’m important,’” he adds. Plus, BlackBerrying “just seems to add to the productive energy” in meetings, where attendees exchange some ideas electronically, says an advertiser. But tapping “can be every bit as much if not more distracting” than talking, notes another consultant. “And it’s pretty insulting to the speaker.”