Monday, June 13, 2005

Area man thinks WiFi in cafe maybe not such a good idea

The NYT has a post on the ways cafe owners are trying to deal with WiFi squatters, the folks who sit in a cafe for hours on end, revelling in the [mostly free] WiFi access, ordering very little and turning the cafe into a rather antisocial place.

Personally, I never understood the appeal of sitting in a cafe with a laptop for extended periods of time. It seems like the underlying desire is wanting to be around people without actually interacting with them, which is a perversion of the cafe as a "Great Good Place" idea, in which the cafe is meant to encourage interaction rather than stifle it. Laptops really are inimical to interaction;
there's something about being parked behind a laptop screen that's much more isolating than reading a book. Even if you're just reading on the laptop and not necessarily pecking away at the keyboard, that popped-up screen acts as a physical barrier that discourages interactions much more strongly than a book does. Maybe the cafe owners should insist on only TabletPCs being used, with their less-forbidding form factors.

3 Comments:

Blogger Christina said...

Very Timely. Yesterday NPR featured a story about a cafe in our hometown, on 15th, that has stopped offereing WiFi access on the weekends. Check it out.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4700256

9:41 AM  
Blogger Dante said...

So this isn't on subject... but I NTK (need to know) what was Ghana like 81-92???
I have volunteered to teach school there for 6 mos. and find almost NO info on the "chaos years".

Please share your experience. I am currently living in Las Vegas and am starved for info.
Thank you

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dante - What's your email address ?

-Alex.

4:07 PM  

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