Cell Phone Etiquette III
After getting a question from a friend in regard to their BlackBerry – specifically the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) application – I have decided it is time for a new Cell Phone Etiquette post. (You can find the previous ones here and here.)
My friend, Robin (name changed), messaged me via BBM the other day and told me that a friend, we will call him Barney, of the sibling who she had inherited her BlackBerry from had added her to their BBM list. What Robin wanted to know was whether or not it was rude to delete Barney from her list now that they had established that the phone was no longer her brother’s. I responded that in my humble opinion she should wait a day and then delete Barney so he will be less likely to notice when her name disappears from his list avoiding a possibly awkward conversation. I suppose beyond what I said what is important would also be how well Robin and Barney actually know each other in the real world and whether or not it would be at all an insult.
But as I write this post about BlackBerrys and BBM I also think about one other point of etiquette which I am unsure about and would love to hear my readers’ opinions. Is it OK to give out your friend/acquaintance’s PIN to a mutual friend/acquaintance without first asking your friend? (If you don’t know how BBM works with PINs see below) One friend of mine’s opinion was that it doesn’t matter as you can just delete the person from your list if you don’t want them to have you on their list anymore or just ignore/refuse the friend request in the first place. I accepted the opinion at the time because I was new to the world of BBM but I have come to the conclusion, personally, that it is not alright and is a breach of the other person’s privacy and bad etiquette. The same way I do not like giving out other people’s phone numbers or personal email addresses without the owner’s express permission I don’t think it is OK to give out their PIN without their permission. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.
Every Blackberry device has its own unique PIN and a BlackBerry user can use a PIN to send a direct message to another BlackBerry anywhere in the world at no cost. As well, every Blackberry has a program called BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which is an Instant Messaging (IM) program which uses PINs to differentiate between people. As BBM is an IM program, like any IM program you build a buddy list and can choose to block or ignore requests for people to add you to their buddy list.