Now, as one to always denigrate those around me that use public areas sorely for their free wifi needs I never thought of myself as one of their brood. That is until recently when I had some free time to myself and decided to bring my computer to a local cafe for some coffee.
Looking around you know the types that frequent these places – students, home workers, Facebook fiends, bloggers, and wifi hogs among others. That last one can always be found mostly in coffee shops such as Starbucks leeching off of the complimentary wifi and free use of power outlets. I always wondered about that last group. It seems as if they are always there for hours upon hours nursing that one beverage as if dragging it out to not lose their table spot. It’s always the same people too as you get to recognizing the regulars there. At times it does seem abusive and inconsiderate to do this as many of us would like to have a table to enjoy our coffee for a few minutes, and engage in conversation if with another.
Yet, after my recent experience I can see why they do it. In my own instance I did not realize how quick time went by as I was busy in my own world of writing, blogging, web surfing, and reviewing on Yelp. Before I knew it I was nursing my own coffee with slight sips and was becoming what I dreaded most – a nefarious wifi hog! Yes, I had been there for hours. I felt dirty. I felt guilty. I was a wifi whore.
Next to me were a few young college students deeply engaged in studying and writing essays on there laptops. I heard them say that they could not afford internet at their apartment so that is why they like this cafe. It’s a quiet and cozy place. On the other side of me was a guy who had a home based business. I asked why he comes here and he said because he would kill his loud roommates if he had to actually work from home. I asked a few more people why they use spots like this for internet and many said it was a financial reason as it’s much cheaper to buy a cup of coffee than actually pay for the web. That did make sense to me considering the tough financial times many people find themselves in. A few others just said because they like to be out in public around other people. Kind of like a herd mentality where people of a feather flock together.
In a way, it was like a research project for me. Now I understand it a bit more. Still, I feel that there are many who way overuse the privilege. Some common courtesy and consideration would be nice after sitting there for hours while you see people looking around with food and drink waiting for a table to open up.
Maybe it’s just me. The newly initiated wifi hog. What do you think? Are you a hog too?
16 thoughts on “Me? A wifi hog? Oink!”
I’m not a fan of Starbucks. Although if I’m out and about and want a break I am attracted to a wifi hotspot. Everyone loves a freebie, well I do anyway.
I hear ya! If it’s free, it’s for me! Love free wifi in airports especially! Thanks for commenting.
Hi Filbio. I like your writing style- and interesting issue. 🙂
I know what you mean about the people that sit all day with the wifi. A few cafe’s in NYC that I like either don’t allow computers (Cafe’ Pick Me Up on 9th and Ave A) or don’t have electrical outlets accessible (Hungarian Pastry Shop at 111th and Amsterdam). Of course, I should have told you about them before you became a cafe’ wifi guy. 🙂
Thank you for the comment. Glad you liked it. LOL! I was just ranting a bit as this is a pet peeve of mine, but it’s a minor thing. I appreciate the suggestions.
I tried using the wifi at the Dunkin Donuts near Hylan Blvd. when my Internet connection fell victim to Sandy. Generally not a fan-of wifi, I love DD. Managed to find a public library in New Dorp that served as a bridge until my cable was restored.
Hi Gerard! I admit that the free wifi is definitely a perk when your normal connection is not working. I have also used it at Starbucks and other places at times but am respectful of the time I spend there. DD’s does make good coffee. Hope Sandy did not do too much damage and that all is well with you. I appreciate the comment and for reading my blog!
What about those who are protecting their WiFi with their encrypted secret passwords(lol)? Didn’t your mother teach you to share? Like your protecting some top secret CIA crap!
Luckily, I have WiFi at home and it’s not password protected. I share! 🙂 I have to have WiFi though or my kids would always be on my computer. That…I do not like to share.
LOL! I at my apartment I used to piggy back on someone else’s wifi in the building. But they kept turning it off on me right in the middle of what I was working on. How dare they?!!! Now I have my own wifi and do have a password on it. This is a funny subject to me. Thanks for reading!
I have been guilty of this when i was in college. It was the perfect atmosphere for getting shit done and yes, it sucks you in! I have noticed that a lot of Starbucks’ that are frequented regularly by people looking to use the free WiFi have encountered a shortage of outlets and even some staffers asking them to buy another beverage to keep using the WiFi. I dont agree with that but whatever.
Be a hog! You get shit done and I likes it.
Oh, I have been guilty of using free wifi too! We all have. I was sucked in recently too. I just don’t like when people buy one cup of coffee and hog the table for 3,4,5,6 hours or use it as their own personal office on a daily basis when the place is crowded with real customers. In the Starbucks by me I have seen it and know who the regs are. It’s kinda funny. Some places cover up their outlets too. Honestly, one cup of coffee should equal one hour of wifi. If you buy another cup or get something to eat then you should get more time. I think that’s fair. Businesses have to make a profit, especially smaller ones that struggle, and people do take advantage by nursing it for hours at a time. I can see both sides of this though. For you I will be a hog! And get shit done!
I think it’s great when a cafe sets clear guidelines for when laptop users can hog space, and how much space they can hog, like at ‘Snice in Brooklyn (http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/snice-brooklyn#lMvz9E-JO3pajoTLAh6O6w).
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Smaller biz like this needs to set guidelines. Places like Starbucks don’t really care as they are making money off the masses. Great point – thanks for the comment and link!
I’m one of those that prefers working in public. There are too many distractions at home. But I wouldn’t call myself a hog because I don’t hesitate to buy more tea and try to sit at communal tables.
I like Argo Tea’s system of giving you two hours of wifi per purchase. Speaking of Argo Tea… you know what’s more annoying than wifi hogs? The origami club that thinks it’s acceptable to hold their meetings in a tea shop and take up two communal tables. You should do research on them.
Hi Ms. PC! Thanks for the comment and for reading it! I knew this would raise a few eyebrows from the public wifi lovers. You sound like one of the good ones and work the system the considerate way.
The Argo Tea policy is a good one, I agree. Plus, they make some damn good tea flavors! I’ll check out that Origami Club. I have seen groups like this and businesses hold their long meetings at those tables for hours. I hear ya!
Ha, now I feel bad for complaining about these origami people. I must have been in a bad mood 3 days ago.
LOL! No reason to feel bad. We all have our pet peeves!