Starbucks 'killing sense of communities | Society & Business | Sideways News: "Professor Bryant Simon of Philadelphia's Temple University has claimed that the set-up of cafes run by leading chains like Starbucks is contributing to a decline in interaction between people, despite the companies' claims otherwise.
In a new book, he claims that widely-spaced tables, takeaway preferences and even free wireless internet are killing conversation between customers and creating a sense of isolation.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the publication was put together through visits to over 400 of Starbucks' 15,000 outlets worldwide, including some in the UK.
Professor Simon told the newspaper that very little interaction between customers was seen, adding: 'People immediately create their own little private, gated communities. You couldn't be more alone in public if you wanted to be.'"
I think the gated community metaphor just jumped the shark, as they say in Hollywood.