blackberry_users.jpg2007 will not be known for the Rise of the Silver Surfer, but rather for the rise of the smartphone (if you don’t know what a smartphone is, Wikipedia has a nice little article on them). 2007 is the year that smartphones move from being a device that only the truly geeky would use, to the mainstream. Even my father, who’s been using a beat-up 1996 StarTAC, is entertaining the idea of a smartphone.

Since smartphones are being adopted so widely, and due to their almost instantaneous e-mail delivery, I’ve started to notice an interesting phenomenon at weekend brunches…people are seemingly having brunch alone, but in reality are enjoying it with someone else via their smartphone.

At the brunch I had with my parents today (at Cafe Joul, a very nice French bistro on the UES), there was one man enjoying his brunch, and clutching his BlackBerry the entire time, clearly having a conversation via e-mail. At various points during his meal, he chuckled and even laughed audibly between bites. I can imagine his significant other sitting in a similar bistro in San Francisco doing the same with his/her BlackBerry.

Because today’s example is about the fourth such incident I’ve seen in the past few weeks, I think it’s time to coin a new word:


an intransitive verb meaning “to partake of a relaxing meal with a physically absent friend, communicating with them via the use of a smartphone or similar device”

a noun meaning: “a relaxing meal where one or more of the party are not physically present, but are communicated with via the use of a smartphone or similar device”

With the above definitions also comes the following:


a noun meaning “a person who telebrunches”

I think coining a new word or two means that I’ve had a very productive Sunday. Perhaps I need to reward myself with an ice cream. Maybe I’ll invite my friend in Australia to join me via my Treo. Yeah, waking her up at 4am (her time) and asking her to have an ice cream with me should go over real well.

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