Mobile Device Usage As Annoying As Smoking?

post suggests that mobile device users have gotten so rude about using their phones, BlackBerrys, Treos, etc. in public and in social settings that it’s as irritating as someone lighting up a cigarette.

…the smoking analogy is most apt because 20 years ago, a person would have been able to light up in an elevator. Smoking was socially acceptable in all manner of venues until non-smokers got the nerve to push back. As with mobile technology, what made smoking so obnoxious was that it was addictive and compulsive, blinding smokers to their impact on non-smokers. Addiction makes us selfish. We don’t want to confront that unpleasant truth, so it takes a lot of push-back to admit that we’re being offensive.

While I think the smoking analogy is a bit off track, I do agree that when you’re with people, in a social setting, unless you’re expecting something urgent, you should shut off your devices. I was recently at a party where one of the guests continued to take his phone out every other minute to do nothing more than look at the screen to check for messages, even though he wasn’t expecting any. I finally had to turn my back to him and lock him out of the conversation. I’m pretty sure he never even noticed.

So what say you? Are BlackBerry users out of control? Are lawsuits against RIM sure to follow 20 years from now?

Are BlackBerry users the new smokers? [USA Today via BlackBerryCool]