Blackberry in the John

RIM might be in trouble, but that doesn’t change the fact that you might already be a full-blown techno-addict. If you’ve ever gone to the bathroom at work (or at a party) to check your email, Facebook or BBM, you’re not alone. It’ time to come out of the closet and admit your sins.

A recent survey of 1023 Australian folks aged 18 to 65 revealed that 51.7% have secretly checked their phone during a meeting. From my observations, this number is very low compared with our Canadian workplace. Or maybe it’s just that those surveyed did not convey the full facts…

As usual, the genders go differently about the business of wire-addiction: men were more likely to check their phones during a meeting, whereas women were twice as likely to excuse themselves from a meeting to visit the bathroom to check feed their addiction.

We humans, we’re funny creatures. Have you noticed how readily we judge others for the exact same behaviours that we engage in? Well, here’s how this dynamic played out in this survey: although half of the respondents admitted to having poor phone etiquette on occasion, over a third stated that using phones during work meetings was the most annoying practice of all!

As you already know from following this blog, rude use of technology can be classified as ‘incivility’, in that it is a ‘seemingly inconsequential rude or discourteous behaviour where the intent to harm is ambiguous’ but where the impact on others is clearly felt (and not in a good way….).

So let’s start by changing ourselves, one ‘addiction moment’ at a time, one incivil instance at a time. “Love the one you’re with”, as the song goes, would be a great place to start. When you’re spending time with someone in person, make them your top priority- and make sure you convey that in the ways that you handle that ever-tempting technology urge.

I promise to do the same.


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