In a sleepy town just off the New Hampshire coast, there is controversy. No, it has nothing to do with the antique shops that line U.S. 1, nor Dan Brown, the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons author who taught school there in the 1990s. This concerns, of all things, a BlackBerry.
Hampton Falls, N.H., a town of approximately 2,000 residents is led by a Board of Selectman – a city council, to you and me. One day a board member pulled out his BlackBerry during a public forum, and drew the wrath of another member who found that to be a serious break in decorum.
The man said the BlackBerry was a very useful note-taking tool and he didn’t want to turn it off in case some sort of emergency arose. But others objected, saying it was already a distraction to have phones ringing in the audience, let alone having one of their own implying that kind of behavior is OK.
When all was said and done, the board gave the BlackBerry a thumbs-up and decided it could remain a part of their meetings. That drew a rebuke from the community’s newspaper, which thought the distraction could affect the focus the board has on the town’s important issues.
Just wait until they start Tweeting. Then there might be a real problem.