Saturday, 1 February 2014

No, we don't have WiFi; talk to each other!

But I don't want to talk to you; I don't even know you.

I've seen this picture (or a variation on it - this one seems to be the most common, though) posted on a variety of social networking websites (ironically) just recently.  Most people see it as 'striking a blow' against modern social norms of using smartphones and tablets in public instead of talking to people face-to-face - and they seem to love that.  I, on the other hand, think it's incredibly condescending.

Firstly, to suggest that technological advances (particularly WiFi and mobile internet) have had an adverse affect on social communication is patently absurd.  Sure, internet technologies have changed the nature of social interactions, but the fact is that people are now able to communicate more easily with more people more of the time.  It maybe that some people still prefer more 'traditional' interactions, but to suggest (as this sign seems to) that using WiFi and being a social human being are mutually exclusive is demonstrably false.

Most importantly, however, the tone of the sign seems very rude, to me.  It is each establishment's prerogative whether or not to offer WiFi access to patrons - but to put up a smug, moralising sign about it seems a little unnecessary.

So, you don't have WiFi available here?  Fine.  But sanctimoniously telling me that your lack of WiFi is somehow 'better', or 'for my own good', would definitely be a good way to put me off giving you my custom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A response so well put.
I must share.
Thank you, Kit Marsden.

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