Monday, November 12, 2012

The Joys of Coffee Shops

interaction is a must at Cafe du Monde
I have been drinking a lot of coffee lately, but my own filters stay clean.  I meet strangers in coffee shops and make them friends through the interview process. And while I have met in some other locations - like a rural smoothie king - almost everyone is happy to meet for coffee.  And, as a newly minted cafe afficianado, I know why.

Like the internet, at a coffee shop it is easy to connect with others. The space is public and safe, and there is very little commitment in terms of money or time. People feel willing to connect - what do they have to lose? What's the worst that can happen?

Unlike the internet, one cannot be anonymous. A coffee shop is personal, maybe even cozy. People can quickly develop relationships with the baristas and with other patrons, even if the relationship is as shallow as a passing joke or a reference to the weather.

Fair Grinds, NOLA, is a great place to get work done
Frankly, that superficial relationship might be closer than many people get with their pastors and pew-neighbors. Unlike religious communities, coffee shops do not have a premise: eat muffins, drink coffee, or don't. You will not have an altar call or a conversion, you will not be expected to listen to someone preach about ancient texts. You can even plug in the laptop and work without feeling isolated; self-employed writers and designers sing the praises of coffee shops for getting out of the house and stumbling on inspiration.

Coffee shops, then, are a common ground, a neutral ground, where people can be themselves in contact with each other. With Caffeine!

That's what millennials are attracted to in community - low initial investment, low risk, high returns.

No comments:

Post a Comment