It’s said that yawns are contagious. When one person yawns people around will “catch” the yawn. Apparently, women use this to see if anyone is checking them out (seriously, Google “catch yawn” [no quotes] and this article pops up). I’m sure, though, that the BlackBerry equivalent of catching a yawn isn’t going to attract members of the opposite sex. Late last month Forbes ran a feature called BlackBerry Tips From The Top, a look at what applications and features number of executives use on their BlackBerry devices. There are some interesting suggestions, but what caught my eye was the statement by TRA CEO Mark Lieberman. It’s about the BlackBerry yawn.
“An interesting phenomenon I have witnessed is what I call the yawn effect, similar to how one person yawning causes others to do the same. During meetings, when someone pulls out a BlackBerry to check on something, it causes at least two-thirds of the other people to do the same within seconds, whether consciously or not. This even happens in an elevator with strangers. Don’t pull it out!”
This is something my non-BlackBerry-toting friends are wont to point out. Maybe they just feel left out, because we look so cool checking our new emails. Lieberman is spot on, though. This is something I see — and succumb to — all the time. One person checks the Berry, everyone checks the Berry. Ditto iPhones, Palms…almost any PDA or smartphone. As for the tips these executives dole out: it’s nothing really new. A few suggest applications like TwitterBerry, Viigo, and Facebook. Then there is the advice about putting away the Berry sometimes and not letting it become a burden instead of a productivity tool. All in all a good read, though the most interesting part was obviously the “yawn” factor.