Blackberry Messenger Etiquette

Pinkberry Dear Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and Cingular Wireless:

The Blackberry (or Pinkberry in my case) has become an extension of my right hand (or left hand if I’m eating). There are so many amazing features that I have fallen deeply in love with and if I’m not using one I’m sure to be using the other.  In a generation when social networking is more prominent than it ever has been it’s no surprise that we need a redefined code of etiquette for small things like restaurant manners.

Then the other day as I was balancing my Pinkberry in one hand and typing with the other hand while listening to a conference call on speakerphone at work I started thinking about how we have this new Twitter generation has only begun establishing social etiquette for social networking.

The enjoyment of communicating is nothing new but the lack of boundaries is. When I was growing up there were rules to how much communication you could have with a person.  If you called their house (which you had to since this was before cell phones) and you left a message that was it, you just had to wait.  You couldn’t ping, text, e-mail, twitter them or shout them out in your Facebook Status.

I’ve put together 7 rules of etiquette for Pinkberry Messenger.  I know I now carry around this Pink leash but every now and then I will respond in rebellion if you yank too hard, so in order to avoid that please consider these simple suggestions the next time you reach out to me.

Option 7: PINGS! I used to think PINGS were like the Facebook Pokes.  A friendly way to reach out to someone and let them know you’re thinking of them.  Then I quickly learned the function of the PING!!! is to get my attention.  Kind of like saying Excuse Me Miss before you rush into a conversation.  The problem is if you PING!!! me the first time and I don’t answer it probably means I’m not available, not near my phone or haven’t noticed your PING!!! yet.  It does not help to PING!!! me three more times so that by the time I do get to my phone I have a row of nothing but bright red, all-capital PING!!!

Option 6: The D and the R I’m not sure if people understand this but the D stands for Delivered, meaning you sent the message and the message went through to the receiving Blackberry but the person has not yet checked the message.  The R stands for Received, it’s kind of like the completion of the processes.  Once you can see on your device that the person has received your message you can begin wondering why they are not responding.  Although I wouldn’t suggest following that up with a PING!!! instead consider all the other things a person might be doing that prohibits them from Receiving the message at the exact moment you sent it: eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, any basic human function that requires the Blackberry to be temporarily set aside.

Option 5: The Clock I know it’s annoying, very annoying, when you’re in a back-and-forth conversation with a person and suddenly they just stop responding.  You wait patiently, you resist the urge to PING!!! and then you notice they have gone into italics in your friend list and there is a clock covering half their normally smiley face.  I once read in the troubleshooting guide this happens if the person gets on the telephone (you know when they actually hold it to their ear and speak through the mouthpiece with a live person on the other end?) , are texting or e-mailing or have an abundance of information coming through.  It happens more than just these occassions I understand but you deleting me and adding me again and then deleting me and adding me yet again when I still don’t respond is not the only solution. Sometimes you just have to wait.

Option 4: Inviting Others into the Conversation This is fun and when it’s two or three people and you’re all planning to get together later that day, later that week or even later that year this is a great tool to use so you can all quickly get on one accord, toss ideas around and come to a conclusion about what you will do when you all see each other shortly.  Being at work in a meeting and inviting everyone in the meeting into the conversation and then making so many comments about every little word spoken during the meeting not only causes my battery to drain and my Pinkberry to freeze but it’s also very annoying.  Small snickers are escaping all over the room, barely disguising the constant buzzing that is drowning out the speaker and I feel about as mature as passing my yearbook around during High School graduation.

Option 3: Adding Contacts See, here’s the thing it even says in the pop-up list Add a Contact… Not pad your friend list with random strangers you never speak to in real life and thus would never reach out to speak to virtually.  If you add me as a contact it should be so we can you know…speak.  Maybe not every day but at least on occasion.  Don’t get offended if you notice you’ve been deleted from my Contacts despite the fact that in the past year we’ve never once spoken through bbm.  At that point you’re no longer to a contact because I usually interact with my contacts.

Option 2: Voice Notes This is a palatable alternative to the constant click clicking of the keys that we spend so much time doing as it adds a personal element to the communication.  It’s almost like being able to leave a voicemail because the person can hear your voice as you efficiently deliver a message but you never have to actually dial them and risk they might pick up the phone and keep you talking for more than your precious time will allow.  However, bbm is not a substitute for generic phone calls so it gets a bit ridiculous when every bbm message is a Voice Note.  Sometimes they make me laugh if you tell a joke, do an imitation or just sing good morning to wake me up but the rest of the time it just makes me wonder if you have so much time to record Voice Notes why can’t you just pick up the phone?

Option 1: Texting me when you could just bbm me I don’t know what makes this my number one pet peeve except that when used correctly bbm is on of the closest things on the Pinkberry to actual conversation outside of holding down the speed dial key until it connects and waiting for me to pick up the line.  So, when you text me instead of bbm’ing me it makes me think one of two things.  A: This is a mass text message designed to seem like it’s only directed at me so I won’t notice you’ve placed me into your prepackaged block of time so you can no longer get harassed for being too busy for people.  Or two you don’t actually want to have a conversation with me, you just need to deliver a quick message with no need for a response. In either case you won’t get a response out of me which really seems to annoy people.  Well then, why didn’t you just bbm me! Love Always, Sunny

P.S. : I went for Cold Stone Ice Cream the other day (Yes, Pinkberry Yogurt I had a moment of weakness and cheated on you- unforgivable I know) and I left my Verizon Pinkberry at home.  It was the most amazing liberating feeling! We talked without being interrupted, I lost track of time,  overall I just feel so free! Until the minute I stepped back inside I lunged for my Pinkberry to catch up on all I’d missed!


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2 Responses to “Blackberry Messenger Etiquette”
  1. Kel Spencer says:

    Lol! You have waaaaaaaay to much time on your… well, your hands : /

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