What is it with these new Puritans?
Remember when businesses just wanted customers to, you know, spend money with them?
Now you try to give someone your money, and you get a lecture.
A hipster hangout called Lion and Bright in Halifax, Nova Scotia (about the size of Austin) has made a new rule: they are “screen-free” after 5 P.M. No iPads, tablets, etc. etc.
“Close your screens, meet your neighbours!”
Or go to Tim Horton’s, where they mind their own business and have awesome coffee.
I will always defend a restaurant owner’s right to do things on his own terms. But what’s with all the scolding and social improvement? It’s bad enough when they list the calorie count on the menu. Eventually, your server will chide you for ordering unhealthy choices.
“Do you really need all that?”
Maybe that’s already started.
But back to the screen rule: I get that we’re all burying our faces in our devices too much, but why would you turn away a paying customer just because he wants to work, or check mail, or write a review about your new rule?
I mean, is there a bouncer for violators? Do you get a warning first?
What about introverts? Will you be publicly shaming them if they don’t go around introducing themselves or striking up conversation?
What if I bring a book? Am I allowed to read or will the cafe police confiscate it for being anti-social?
Do I have to leave if I can’t find anyone who will talk with me?
Nanny rules are not appetizing.
Freedom makes me hungry.