I read an interesting article this afternoon from the New York Times, called "Mind Your BlackBerry or Mind Your Manners." It brought up the controversial topic of whether or not it’s appropriate to be fiddling with your smart phone during a meeting. Since I know that lawyers are often tethered to their Blackberries (and I’m starting to see a lot more iPhones with our group!), I thought it might be an interesting topic to delve into further.
Though there are some things I take a firm stand on (dogs, not cats, coffee, not tea), this is one of those grey areas for me. And I think the answer is "it depends."
In the article, the author mentioned an instance where a company required all of its employees to take meeting notes on their Blackberries, which made one VP look as though he was paying less than full attention. I’m often found in a conference tapping away on my iPhone, not because I’m checking email or Facebook, but because I’m tweeting the relevant points to my followers and using that as my note-taking system for a later blog post.