For those without internet access at home, but who own a smartphone or tablet it could be useful, having somewhere close by where they can connect to the internet, which is free or cheap on most city centre streets, inside various building as well on some public transport. However the majority of people who already own a device capable of connecting to the internet already have their own internet connection. For them wider access to wifi simply means more time spent online.
Since succumbing and getting a smartphone of my own, I realise I've become one of these people. Whenever I'm in Manchester city centre with my sister, we'll walk side by side to wherever we're going, neither of us uttering much to one another, both occasionally glancing up to avoid traffic and groups of other people on foot doing exactly the same thing. We probably wouldn't notice if something significant was happening around us, unless of course it was tweeted or emailed to us first.
When do the benefits of easier access to the internet become outweighed by the lack of real communication between people? I'm not suggesting that we would talk more to people that we don't know if it wasn't for the internet. The majority of people who try to strike up lengthy conversions with strangers are usually (rightly or wrongly) considered strange at best. The problem is that we don't talk to our friends and family much any more. When I say talk, I mean actually talk in person, not through Facebook, twitter, email or other online platforms.
How many experiences do we miss out because we choose to watch it through a screen and post it online to show what a good time we're having? Many of the best moments in my life are those where I have no pictures or videos to post online, because I was enjoying the moment so much, that I chose not to ruin it by looking at it through my phone, but to view it with just my eyes instead. I challenge anyone reading this to leave the phone, tablet,laptop etc at home, just for a day and see what happens. The chances are you won't miss anything and you might even pay more attention to what is happening around you.