There seems to be no end to the things people can find to annoy those around them, and an accompanying no end to the people that want to make a big deal out them.
To wit, the "CrackBerry" epidemic/crisis looms. The "crack" part refers to some BlackBerry owners' incessant need to thumb-type messages while walking down the hallway, while sitting in meetings, while sitting at their desks and workbenches, and even while in the bathroom (yes, in the bathroom).
Indeed, I have witness such behavior where I work, both with BlackBerrys and notebook computers. However, at least where I work, the people doing some are highly efficient and effective engineers and managers that somehow manage to multi-task and still get everything done. Those people can be intently responding to an e-mail or (and I have seen this), working on a circuit design while in a meeting, and still be able to contribute to the meeting topic.
So, although I cannot speak for all CrackBerry addicts, I can tell you that just because someone seems to not be paying attention to the world around him/her, that is not necessarily the case. I write this as one who does not carry notebook computers, PDAs, or cellphones to meetings – just a lab notebook and a mechanical pencil.
How about you? Do you multi-task in meetings?
Oh, here is an article from Design News on the topic:http://www.designnews.com/article/ca6306314.html