Convinced that smartphones are ruining our social lives as well as the pub experience, the owner of a newly-opened bar in Brighton, England has decided to get people socializing the old-fashioned way by disabling their cellphone reception.
Instead of texting, checking emails or browsing the internet, patrons of the Gin Tub bar will have to pass the time by actually interacting with their friends, dates or even complete strangers. Owner Steve Tyler could have simply asked guests not to use their phones in his bar, but instead of banning them, he opted to disable them completely. The Gin Tub has a Faraday cage built into its ceiling, which makes getting a reception inside the venue impossible. He says it was the only exception in Britain’s 2006 Wireless Telegraphy Act that otherwise outlaws the use of signal blockers. So yes, it’s 100% legal.
“Mobile phones have killed pubs. When you go out socially, you don’t need social media,” Tyler says. “Rather than telling people they can’t use they phones we’ve basically disabled them.” He makes sure to clarify that the Faraday shield doesn’t jam phone signals, as that would be illegal. Instead the 19th-century device prevents the signal from getting inside.