Neighbour feuds used to go down over the backyard fence. Today, they’re playing out over wireless networks, according to the BBC, which discovered neighbours are duking it out with passive-aggressive WiFi network names that say what they can not, face to face.
Forget huffy Post-it notes left on the fridge or dog doodoo smoking on the porch: In “an era of bite-sized self-expression,” WiFi is the new battleground, the BBC’s Tom Heyden explains.
The most common complaint? Sex. Noisy sex and too much sex, to be precise. “We can hear you having sex,” is a popular message in Britain and Ireland, according to OpenSignalMaps, a database of WiFi network names the BBC mined for the story.
The database revealed that general, non-sexual noise was another major beef: “Stop slamming the door!!!”, “Stop wearing heels!” and the more direct “Shut up” all came up.
Since wireless users can scan others’ networks when they are within range and take advantage if those networks are unsecured, “stealing” broadband was another bone of contention – “Covet not thy neighbour’s wi-fi,” read one note.
And it goes from there, Heyden learns. Neighbours blast each other for barking dogs, stolen newspapers, aesthetic choices and even their command of the English language: “You’re music is annoying!” reads one WiFi hint, followed up by another: “Your grammar is more annoying!”
Such techno-nerd spats are less explosive (and arguably less effective) than in-person verbal sparring over the hedge: “My neighbours would have to do something really bad to go over and knock on their door,” OpenSignalMaps’ James Robinson told the BBC.
Still, it isn’t all domestic doom and gloom. Users on the social news web site Reddit shared the best WiFi monikers they’d spotted, including one from a smitten man who used his WiFi network name as a seduction technique: “The girl in 21B is absolutely beautiful.”
Wrote the Redditor who spotted it: “I’ve always hoped that whoever used that WiFi name got a response and a date out of that.”
What would you say to your neighbours via WiFi that you can’t to their face?