the need to catch the next [online] wave

How many of you have actually gone to a wireless hotspot, logged onto the net, and then suddenly get sucked into your browser, ignoring the friends you made time to go out with in the first place?

In Butch Dalisay’s latest Penman column for the Star, he writes about the WiFi phenomenon that’s hitting the Philippines. There’s a hotspot in every coffee shop, mall and high end resto in the metro. It’s like as if we really need it!

Scary thing is that nowadays, with how fast our lives go, we actually do need it. We actually need to rush to the nearest coffee shop to send email. To turn in a story. To mail those pictures. To call that client via VoIP.

I was elated to have found that Butch made reference to a piece I wrote some time ago about WiFi and social norms.

In what’s become an odd downside to wi-fi, people in cafés now talk less to each other where there’s wireless to go and a laptop to play with. As happens in many of our PhilMug “wala lang” meetings, half a dozen geeks might trot out their machines on a long table, order drinks, and start chatting with absent friends or even each other – on wi-fi. As tech writer Jayvee Fernandez notes in one of the best-produced tech blogs to have emerged recently at The AfterMac, “WiFi as a social concept, at least here where I’m from, is null and void. On many occasions where my friends bring portables to a coffee shop, the buzz of conversation dies down, replaced by the muffled clicking of their trackpads. I guess the best place to start is going wireless in a pizza joint. Social food is always good. That’s Adel and myself with our PowerBook and iBook chatting, downloading stuff and sharing photos while waiting for our pizza.”

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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