Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cafe Culture

Jeanette and I have been mooching Wi-Fi from coffee shops like everyone else does.
She did this sketch of a cafe patron using a Micron brush pen.


I guess we’re part of an alarming trend. In one Starbucks, we noticed 14 patrons. Eleven of them were busy with laptops, two were interested in hand-held devices, and one was a kid playing quietly with an empty coffee cup.

Nobody spoke, except to say, “Do you mind if I plug this in?”

13 comments:

Sean said...

The little town I live in is bucking this trend because two of our three cafés are 50 yr old local businesses with no interest in wifi. You go in there and it's noisy - people stop in, see someone they barely know, and start chatting. Definitely an older crowd, though - you don't find many 20 yr olds at wifi dead zones.

I wonder, when today's 20 yr olds are 70, will they have discovered the value in talking to people rather than messaging them?

Johan Derycke said...

Lol that's the 21st century for ya!

We forget how to use the simplest communication methods whilest practically being burried in communication tools...

Cavematty said...

I live in a house with my girlfriend and two other room-mates. We all have computers, and at times we'll all be on them in separate rooms of the house. In these situations we sometimes email or instant message each other rather than walking down the hall.
We still have sit-down dinners together at the table every night though, so it's not like we're going to forget what each other look like, but it is still a bit odd.

Ulrike Miesen-Schürmann said...

Ok, I don't look forward to this trend. In the Bremen Starbucks people are still talking with eachother. There are just a few wifi-ing O;-)

Libby Fife said...

We now live in a fairly rural area where our internet options are very limited (one prvider for our area). If you go in to town or another town, they have some wi fi coffee shops. I suspect that anything people can do to save money, they are doing it, including using someone else's wifi. I actually think that is the real trend.

Big Ape said...

It's the same on the train I take to get to work, everyone is on their iPhone/Blackberry/laptop including me some of the time, although I try to read a book if I can.

Emily said...

I find it funny to see this post, right as I was planning to get out of the apartment and go to a coffee shop to get some work done on a paper! I use wi-fi at cafes to keep me connected while I do work, and at the same time get me out of my apartment, where I'm more easily distracted.

Jesse said...

And it doesn't stop there. Almost everything is automated now. From self checkouts at the grocery store, to customer service.

acaminante said...

I've had a cafe patron move to a different table outside my line of vision when they noticed I was up to something with those suspicious-looking ink brushes.

Besides setting up to reduce head movement, are there any other tricks to surreptitious people sketching?

Karen said...

ooh sometimes that annoys me so much!
I liked it better when Starbucks limited their internet to at&t customers. Now every time I go all the good seats are taken by laptop users. If I'm lucky, I'll find a seat outside, where the sun is burning and all the smokers hang out.

tiffannysketchbook said...

the iphone thing bugs the hell out of me. all my friends have iphones, and many times during a conversation, they'll glance down and fiddle with it, WHILE I'M TALKING TO THEM! :) Do they not think I would notice?

Dan Gurney said...

Thursday night I went to a pub in Petaluma to sit in on a 2 1/2 hour ukulele jam. There were 9 of us.

None of us---none---took a phone call in that time.

Cumulatively we logged 22.5 man hours offline. Probably a record for that day!

Rob said...

In Melbourne, Australia we have cafes absolutely everywhere! I've only used wifi when I was changing internet plans at home but I noticed a lot of travelers use it.

Tiffany - I got a friend who does that iphone dropout while talking to them. I even made a word for it to tell him off... "iphoning", as in "hey you're iphoning again, pay attention!" :)