Cafe Blocks Wireless Signals So Patrons Can Put That Dang Phone Down Already

Look up from your screen. Did you forget there’s a real world out there, with sights and sounds and people who aren’t yammering away at you via any of the plethora of apps for mobile devices? One café in Canada wants to remind customers of what it’s like to live in a wireless-free world. A wireless-less world?

In any case, the Faraday Café in Vancouver has blocked all wireless signals in order to make people actually engage with their environment.

The brain behind the idea tells Ozy.com that it was time to make being out of touch with everyone at all times cool again, you know, like talking to people in real life.

Also, your friend is just being nice by not telling you how annoying it is when you play Candy Crush instead of talking when you’re together, and how she wishes you would please stop that.

Vancouver’s Hookup Cafe [Ozy.com]

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  1. MarthaGaill says:

    So, is it not the type of café you’d come and work at? Or what if you wanted to sit alone and read the news on your tablet? Love it when places decide to nanny us. No matter, I suppose that’s what your data plan is for.

    • TheRealSpottedfeather says:

      Not everyone likes to sit around after a hard day and listen to annoying people talking annoyingly loud about things that have nothing to do with them. Nobody is that important that they have to be in constant contact with the entire world. And nothing is that important that it can’t wait until you get home. The only bad thing here is that if there was an emergency, you wouldn’t be able to call 911. But even that isn’t bad. If there was an emergency, the store it’s self could call 911.

      • Cara says:

        There are instances where it really is that important for people to be in constant contact with the world – such as on-call doctors, firefighters, etc. It would be really bad for them to go to this cafe for lunch, only to not receive a call that would have told them that they were needed in the ER immediately, for instance.

        • CzarChasm says:

          I suppose those people just shouldn’t go there then. There must be other choices. Or is this the only Cafe in Vancouver. I have never been there, so I’m not really sure.

        • SingleMaltGeek says:

          As a former first responder, that was my concern too, Cara, but I’m hoping that the cafe sees the lack of signals as a selling point, and so mentions it very prominently. Otherwise they’d get a lot of frustrated customers trying to check their email while waiting in line.

      • MarthaGaill says:

        I was reading it as Wi-Fi signals. They’re even blocking phone signals? That’s too far. I would not go there.

  2. webalias says:

    In the U.S., it would be against the law to block or jam cell phone and other wireless signals — and for good reason. If you were out to eat out and there was an emergency at home and no one could reach you, the results could be tragic. Likewise, if you needed to make a 911 or other urgent call. It appears to me that blocking communication in this manner may also be illegal under Canada’s Radiocommunication Act, unless there is some exemption or provision I am unaware of. Still, if the Cafe owner persists and should find himself hauled off to jail, I hope they make sure to give him his one phone call.

    • Snarkapus says:

      Tragic? How did parents survive before ubiquitous cell service?

      • CzarChasm says:

        They didn’t, there has always been cell service. I think it says so in the bible.

      • webalias says:

        The world has changed and cell phones, once a luxury, have become a virtual necessity for most Americans. Last month my car battery died. I needed to call AAA, then discovered I’d forgotten my cell phone at home. I went looking for a pay phone — guess what, they’ve nearly disappeared. I finally found a gas station, and asked if I could use a pay phone. The clerk laughed at me, as if I’d stopped in to ask if I could buy some oats to feed my horse. She kindly allowed me to use her business phone to call AAA. If I she hadn’t, and it had been the middle of winter, I’d have been in trouble. Technology has changed, families have changed, the demands of our employers have changed, and more than 90 percent of adults now have and rely on their cell phones. That includes 80 percent of Americans below the poverty level. These days, nostalgia is the luxury we can’t afford.

        • GnRJosh says:

          ^ This. 150,000X this!! You don’t realize that payphones are gone until your car dies, you’ve forgotten your cellphone, and none of the surround gas stations have one. I got turned away from 2 businesses before one would allow me to use their phone to call a wrecker, and even then they got impatient with me because I was on hold for 5 minutes. We as a society have gotten so tethered to our cellphones that it has actually cost us precious emergency lifelines. So, yes, while just 15 years ago (hell, even 10 years ago) I survived life without the need for a cellphone, now I’m screwed without it since it’s not only my personal phone, but also my home phone and business phone.