“It’s about creating a social vibe,” said Wi-Fi-less coffee shop owner Jimson Bienenstock in a report for The New York Times by Christopher Mele. “We’re a vehicle for human interaction; otherwise, it’s just a commodity.”
But bringing a laptop to the coffee shop doesn’t preclude being social — at least that was the thesis of Swarthmore College graduate Rose K. Pozos in 2015.
“People still chose to go there instead of being alone at home or work,” she said. “This indicates that there is a social reason for people to go to coffee shops that does not involve direct interaction with others.”
And in an age of unlimited cellular data access, restricting Wi-Fi doesn’t necessarily outlaw the seemingly anti-social laptops and mobile devices. But it certainly makes a statement.
Read more about coffee shops going without Wi-Fi in The New York Times here.