A semi-anonymous way of broadcasting how you feel.

The BBC did some investigative journalism last week and dredged up some Wi-Fi networks that are getting personal.

Where our grandparents might once have slipped a note under a door or even broached a subject face-to-face, the younger generation posts messages where we know the neighbors will see them every day: in the name of our WiFi networks.

"Predominantly, it's about noise. And sex. Well, noisy sex. That, and 'stealing' broadband," writes the British state news service.

""Stop Stealing My Paper!" begins one exchange, to which the reply taunts: "FYI, I Don't Read It I Just Throw It Away!" Another reads: ""You're music is annoying!" is followed by "Your grammar is more annoying!""

If you live in a rural area, it's possible you haven't even noticed this virtual call-and-response. But in some cities, where a computer can pick up dozens of Wi-Fi networks at any given point, it's become a forum for self-expression.

Just zoom in on this map created by OpenSignal, the crowd-sourced network mapping site, which located Obama-themed Wi-Fi networks this summer. There are endless geographical conclusions to be draw, but keep in mind that the data is not current and will not reflect the latest sentiment / news cycle. 

Map courtesy of OpenSignal.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    The Diverging Diamond Interchange Is Coming to a Road Near You

    Drivers may be baffled by these newfangled intersections, but they’re safer than traditional four-way stops.

  2. Workers in downtown London head to their jobs.
    POV

    How Cities Can Rebuild the Social Safety Net

    In an age of employment uncertainty and a growing income gap, urban America needs to find new ways to support its citizens.

  3. Communal space at classroom in Espoo, Finland.
    Design

    Why Finland Is Embracing Open-Plan School Design

    The country’s educational successes are undeniable, but simply demolishing school walls alone won’t necessarily replicate them.

  4. The Presidio Terrace neighborhood
    POV

    The Problem of Progressive Cities and the Property Tax

    The news that a posh San Francisco street was sold for delinquent taxes exposes the deeper issue with America’s local revenue system.

  5. A woman sits reading on a rooftop garden, with the dense city of Tokyo surrounding her.
    Solutions

    Designing a Megacity for Mental Health

    A new report assesses how Tokyo’s infrastructure affects residents’ emotional well-being, offering lessons for other cities.