We don’t have Wi-Fi Internet in the apartment we rent, so last evening, out on a long early evening walk , we kept our eyes open for a cafe with wireless.
Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city, a cosmopolitan metropolis with a small and intimate feel. There are restaurants and cafe’s on all corners, and on the locks in between.
No one, anywhere, was sitting in front of a laptop. Over the course of an hour and a hundred venues, not one.
I’d noted the absence before, but never how complete. Walk into an American coffee shop, or bar, or anything short of a Michelin star restaurant, and you will probably find half the patrons on a computer or smartphone or iPad or Kindle.
I can’t decide how I feel about this. Last night it drove me crazy, since I just wanted to get something downloaded and then get on with my evening.
But I remember thinking to myself: these people are all sitting in groups and talking to one another.
Everyday life is enriched by the Internet and social media. Surely this is a habit, however, that has gone too far?
(Via Chris Blattman.)