BlackBerry Prayer

Definition of BlackBerry Prayer

The term “BlackBerry Prayer” refers to the posture people assume when they are hunched over their smartphones, with their heads bowed and fingers typing or scrolling on the device, resembling someone in prayer. The term originated during the height of BlackBerry’s popularity as smartphones for business users. Though BlackBerry phones are now less common, the term is still used to describe similar postures with other smartphones.


The phonetic pronunciation of “BlackBerry Prayer” is: /blækˈbɛri ˈprɛər/

Key Takeaways

  1. BlackBerry Prayer is a term coined to describe the posture people assume when constantly checking and using their BlackBerry devices, often leading to physical and social issues.
  2. This phenomenon highlights the addictive nature of smartphones and the need for individuals to develop healthier technology habits, such as taking breaks and setting boundaries.
  3. BlackBerry Prayer is not exclusive to BlackBerry devices, as it applies to all smartphones and other handheld devices that can contribute to problems like text neck, social isolation, and dependence on technology.

Importance of BlackBerry Prayer

The term “BlackBerry Prayer” carries importance as it symbolizes a significant cultural and behavioral shift brought about by technology, particularly in the realms of communication and business.

Referring to the position in which users hunch over their BlackBerry smartphones to check and respond to messages, this phenomenon underscores the profound impact that mobile communication devices have had on individuals’ habits and priorities.

The BlackBerry Prayer highlights the constant need to stay connected, multitasking, and immediate access to information.

As such, it serves as a reminder of the ever-growing influence of technology on our daily lives and possible implications for personal relationships, work-life balance, and mental well-being.


The BlackBerry Prayer refers to a social phenomenon that emerged in response to the widespread use of BlackBerry handheld devices, especially in professional settings. The purpose behind this term is to describe a common posture adopted by individuals engrossed in composing or reading messages on their BlackBerry devices. This posture involves bowing the head and hunching over the device, often during meetings, conferences, or other social gatherings.

The name “BlackBerry Prayer” points out the resemblance of this hunched position to that of someone deep in prayer. The popularity of these devices was immense due to BlackBerry’s uniquely integrated offering for email, messaging, and Internet browsing, and the term itself became a reflection of society’s growing reliance on constant connectivity and instant communication. While the BlackBerry Prayer emerged in the technology world as a humorous and somewhat satirical observation, it also hinted at the changing landscape of communication.

The reliance on these small devices for correspondence highlighted how technology was shifting our focus from verbal and face-to-face communication to screen-centric interactions, even in situations where direct conversation would be more conducive to efficiency and collaboration. This behavioral shift raised concerns about the impact of constant connectivity on workplace productivity, communication skills, and even physical well-being, as the habit of hunching over devices could potentially lead to stress injuries and poor posture. Today, the BlackBerry Prayer remains a symbol of our evolving relationship with smart devices, as it illustrates both the benefits and challenges that come with the integration of technology into our daily lives.

Examples of BlackBerry Prayer

The term “BlackBerry Prayer” refers to the posture people adopt when using their mobile devices, particularly when they are in a social setting or attending a meeting. It refers to the user looking down at their device, often cradling it in both hands, as though they are praying. Here are three real-world examples of the BlackBerry Prayer phenomenon:

Business Meetings: During corporate meetings or conferences, it’s common to see attendees, even high-ranking executives, engaging in the BlackBerry Prayer. They may be checking their emails, getting updates from colleagues, or catching up on other work-related tasks, seemingly detached from the discussion taking place in the room.

Social Gatherings: At parties or other social events, guests may engage in BlackBerry Prayer when they are using their smartphones to check messages, browse social media, or capture pictures instead of actively engaging in conversations with people around them. This can lead to feelings of disconnection or lack of presence in the social situation.

Public Transportation: Commuters often adopt the BlackBerry Prayer posture while sitting or standing on buses, trains, or subways. They may be catching up on the news, playing games, or messaging friends during their journey. While it can help pass the time, it can also hinder social interactions and increase feelings of isolation.Note: Although the term originated from the widespread use of BlackBerry devices in the early 2000s, it now applies to the use of any smartphone or mobile device that encourages users to adopt this posture.

FAQ – BlackBerry Prayer

1. What is the BlackBerry Prayer?

The BlackBerry Prayer is a term used to describe the position people take when they are focused on using their BlackBerry devices or smartphones, specifically in a group setting. This position usually involves leaning forward with their heads down and hands clasped together around the device, resembling a person in prayer.

2. Where did the term “BlackBerry Prayer” originate?

The term came into use during the peak popularity of BlackBerry phones, when checking and responding to emails/chatting on BlackBerry devices had become ubiquitous, especially in professional and social environments. The term humorously points to the widespread use that BlackBerry devices played in people’s lives at the time.

3. Is the term still relevant today?

While the usage of BlackBerry devices has significantly decreased, the concept represented by the term “BlackBerry Prayer” remains relevant, as people are more attached to their smartphones than ever before. The term can now be applied to any smartphone brand and serves as a reminder of the importance of mindful technology usage in social settings.

4. How can I avoid engaging in the BlackBerry Prayer?

To avoid engaging in the BlackBerry Prayer, practice good smartphone etiquette in social settings by keeping your device on silent, resisting the urge to check it constantly, and focusing on the person or task at hand. This will help ensure that you remain present and attentive in social situations.

5. What are some alternative terms used to describe the BlackBerry Prayer?

Some alternative terms used to describe the BlackBerry Prayer include “smartphone slump,” “text neck,” and “cellphone hunch.” These terms all relate to the posture and behavior associated with excessive smartphone usage during social or professional gatherings.

Related Technology Terms

  • Smartphone Addiction
  • Text Neck Syndrome
  • Email Overload
  • Mobile Work-Life Balance
  • Digital Detox

Sources for More Information


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