As a marginally employed person and a walking cliche (but without a trust fund), I spend a lot of time writing in coffee shops, which means I spend a lot of time procrastinating out in the semi-open.
This means that all of my “quirks” are on display. Someone passing by behind me and my laptop might spy me reading an article on Slate that confirms my liberal worldview (yes!); Or she might see me watching videos of puppies; And he will definitely glimpse me watching a gymnastics routine from the 2008 Olympic Games (because I have a disease and there is no known cure).
But the one thing no one will see me do at the “coffice” is sign into my online dating profile. Perhaps it’s because the coffee shop is my IRL cruising ground (I’ve gotten more than a few dates while sipping a hot beverage and banging away at my laptop keys). Or maybe it’s because despite the fact that virtually everyone and their household pets have a profile, I still feel slightly uneasy about searching for dates online. Also, searching for men and women online for dates is pretty baldfaced–everyone knows why they are on the site (even if they say they are merely looking “for friends.”) Bringing that sort of activity into the “real world” seems oddly out of place where flirting is always slightly ambiguous.
Finally, it’s just something that feels like it should be done in private. You don’t look up gross medical photos in an attempt to self-diagnose in public just as you don’t read books called Gentrification in a Clinton Hill coffee shop if you’re a white dude. (True story.) There are just some things that you should keep out of the public sphere.