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Laptops, laptops everywhere

Recently observed at a Starbucks inside a Chapters (sorry for the crappy Blackberrycam pic). There’s practically nobody in this picture who’s not using a laptop. It’s a little puzzling and disorienting: there used to be a time when I would have thought this was really cool. You know, wireless network access, everybody collaborating or telecommuting (or just hanging out with their buddies on Messenger :)

These days, these people strike me as a little… I don’t really know what word to use. It’s just a really far cry from what the Viennese café society or the salon were meant to be – public spaces (or, in the case of the salon, invitation-only spaces) to hang out and debate. I somehow feel they should rather be talking to each other… but of course there are few suburban scenarios where that would happen :)

Spending time in a McCoffee shop staring at a laptop screen seems a little sad when you think about what a coffee shop represented about 100 years ago.

And I don’t mean to come across as all Luddite here – I’ve done it too. Although I’ve always resented being ripped off for wifi access.

And, well, at least the two in the foreground appear to be pointing animatedly at their laptop screen. Wonder what they’re talking about about. Maybe the next big web 2.0 startup :P

One Response to Laptops, laptops everywhere

  1. Rustum December 23, 2007 at 9:35 am #

    OK, now that you got me started…

    Yeah, the cool of the new (shock of the new? shock of the old?) has become quite jaded, hasn’t it? Was a time in the early 1990s I thought it was cool to hang out in a coffee shop with a book and a notepad. A few years later, everybody was…

    I’ve never had a laptop, pda or cracberry (which I think is a nicer way of spelling); I tend to go to coffee shops to drink coffee and stare at people or daydream, for time away from machines and telephones. To actually be unreachable. Although, of course, I always have a bookbag with me – I guess my security blanket, as laptops seem to be to other people…

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