The head-down, slightly hunched position that is characteristic of a person using a BlackBerry or similar device.
Without a doubt, the biggest workplace changes involve computers and communication. Employees are linked to their jobs practically around the clock. There's been a revolution in smart phones like the Treo and BlackBerry that allow people to communicate by E-mail and IM (which your kids will soon explain, if you don't understand) and access the Web from soccer fields and doctors' waiting rooms. If you haven't used them yet, you've almost certainly been to a dinner party or school event where someone's hunched over in the "BlackBerry prayer," thumbing an E-mail response.
—Kerry Hannon, "What's Changed at Work While You Were Out," U.S. News & World Report, February 1, 2008
Mark Penn, the political guru advising Hillary Clinton, writes in his book 'Microtrends' that Americans now work 'substantially more than most workers around the world.'
He asks: 'What's a vacation to us these days without our BlackBerry?' And he notes that in 2006, 23 percent of Americans 'checked our work e-mail and voice mail while away — up from 16 percent in 2005.'
I guess Penn is well paid to produce statistics that help Clinton read the American zeitgeist. What's clear is the BlackBerry prayer position — head bowed, hands together, thumbs going — is a solipsistic emblem of our age. As the New York-Washington shuttle touches down, 93.5 percent of those on board go into the prayer stoop.
—Roger Cohen, "Turkey Tune-Out Time," The New York Times, November 22, 2007
The device has also generated an odd new social ritual that sees BlackBerry users discreetly operate their devices at meetings behind cupped hands with heads intently bowed toward its tiny screen. The position makes one look as if they are seeking help from a higher power — giving rise to the expression "BlackBerry prayer." If too many seated around the table start looking similarly pious, frustrated colleagues have learned, it's time to interrupt the meeting and ask that devices be shut off.
—Steven Chase, "BlackBerry season," The Globe and Mail, December 14, 2000