Picture this: you’re in a bar by yourself, waiting for your friends to show up.
Before smartphones, you might’ve struck up the courage to make small talk with the people around you to pass the time. Nowadays, as soon as you feel loneliness looming, you probably whip out our phone and crush candy or refresh Instagram until your friends show up to rescue you from your own thoughts.
Much has been said about the ways in which smartphones are ruining the millennial generation.
While most of it is pretty sensationalist, it is having a real impact on a place you might not expect: your local watering hole.
While many bars and cafes have gone to interesting lengths to get people off their smartphones and actually interact with each other again –like this one in San Francisco that forced people to talk to strangers to get the Wi-Fi password – Tyler’s solution is totally badass.
He installed copper wire mesh in his bar’s ceiling and tin foil on the walls to block all cell phone service.
You can think of it as an old school solution to a new school problem. He essentially turned his business into a Faraday cage, which is, as described by NPR, “a 19th-century invention that reflects electromagnetic fields and conducts currents around, rather than inside, an enclosure.”
As the sign at the front of his bar aptly puts it, there is “No Wi-Fi, no signal, just friends” at Tyler’s bar.
Tyler says that his patrons are into the change and even thinks it’s going to be “the new way forward” for restaurants, bars, and clubs. However, I can’t help but think this might be a little extreme. What happens if there’s an emergency and somebody can’t get a hold of you?
Yet with a slew of artists, most notably Alicia Keys, banning cellphones from their events, Tyler just might be on to something.
In the meantime, this smartphone addict will take her beer with a side of Wi-Fi, thank you very much.