Laptops, Web Use Create Conflict at Home and Even at Coffeehouses
Posted Aug 10, 2009 5:25 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
It apparently hasn't resulted in cutting-edge litigation by plaintiffs lawyers thinking outside the box ... yet.
But there is growing conflict and concern over adults and children constantly glued to their laptops and other electronic devices at home and during social activities, on top of their ubiquitous use for work-related matters. In New York City, there is a burgeoning grassroots movement among coffeehouse owners to restrict or even eliminate the laptop users who can tie up a table for hours while sipping a single cup of coffee, the Wall Street Journal recently reported.
And law blogger Carolyn Elefant has offered a list on My Shingle of etiquette tips for those seeking to avoid offending others with excessive use.
Meanwhile, electronic devices have made home life very different from what was considered the norm not that long ago, recounts the New York Times in a widely read weekend article.
“Things that I thought were unacceptable a few years ago are now commonplace in my house,” Michigan mom Dorsey Gude tells the newspaper, “like all four of us starting the day on four computers in four separate rooms.”
At least one lawyer swimming against the social networking current, however, was not adversely affected by the hack attack that put the Twitter microblogging network out of commission for hours last week. Headed to work in Los Angeles armed with his laptop in one hand and his Blackberry in the other, Zabi Nowald had all the Web access he needed, he told Reuters.
"'None of my friends do Twitter; none of my employers do," says the 27-year-old. "It affects my life zero. I lost something I never had."