A Dilemma on Smartphone Etiquette

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We now live in a world where the use of smartphones and manners clash.  Are we allowed to check our e-mails in business meetings?  I personally ignore all alerts I get when I’m in front of a coworker but that’s just because I’m a lowly servant in my company.  All my bosses check their Blackberry’s whenever they get a new call or message.

People are slowly understanding that this instant connection to e-mail and text messages can save a business deal.  There are companies that encourage employees to take notes on their phones rather than use paper.  Traditionalists, on the other hand, set up rules to prohibit use of smartphones in certain situations.

The following is the introduction of an article I came across in the NY Times today:

For the first half-hour of the meeting, it was hardly surprising to see a potential client fiddling with his iPhone, said Rowland Hobbs, the chief executive of a marketing firm in Manhattan.

At an hour, it seemed a bit much. And after an hour and a half, Mr. Hobbs and his colleagues wondered what the man could possibly be doing with his phone for the length of a summer blockbuster.

Someone peeked over his shoulder. “He was playing a racing game,” Mr. Hobbs said. “He did ask questions, though, peering occasionally over his iPhone.”

But, Mr. Hobbs added, “we didn’t say anything. We still wanted the business.”[nytimes]

This is the new world that we live in. What do you do in professional situations?

To read more of the article, click here.

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