In the San Francisco Bay, coffee shop owners are torn between having to offer free WiFi to customers, and their coffee shops turning into boring study halls:
A Cup of Coffee With Your Wi-Fi?
...while some coffeehouses have no qualms about marketing themselves as wi-fi shacks, an increasing number of cafe owners feel ambivalent about the effect that too many laptops can have on their business — and not just because a freeloading laptop user might take up valuable real estate while nursing a single cup of coffee for as long as seven or eight hours.
Catherine Keep, the manager at the Berkeley Philz, says that on busy weekdays as many as 80 percent of the customers in the cafe's main second-floor seating area are there with laptops, presumably working. "At the beginning we were here and it was like, 'Geez, it's a library up there!'" Keep said. "And that's not fun."
I thought the article might be interesting to hostels because of a possibly similar situation with offering free WiFi.
What do you think? Is the free WiFi having a negative effect on the atmosphere of hostels, or not really? The increasing number of laptops in common areas is definitely noticeable...