Stick it to your neighbors with your Wi-Fi name
People are reportedly choosing insulting Wi-Fi names in order to send neighbors a message. "Shut the barking dog up, No 7" being just one example.
You can no more choose your neighbors than you can choose your family members.
Sometimes they are people for whom you have contempt -- or even worse. However, it's not always easy to explain to them just how much you dislike them.
There are protocols to go through. And then there's the problem of having to look them in the face and say what you really think.
So an increasing trend seems to be to give your Wi-Fi network a name that carries a message.
In a breathtakingly revelatory piece, the BBC unveils some of the Wi-Fi names that people have created. (Perhaps some of those people are Brits, whose personal-communication skills are legendary.)
Clearly, they have done this so that when the neighbors are seeking a Wi-Fi network, these names serve as personal messages, impersonally delivered.
I assume that many of these messengers live in close proximity to strangers -- an almost infallible recipe for interpersonal strife.
"Shut the barking dog up, No. 7" is one example of a Wi-Fi name. As is "Stop slamming the door."
Some lurch toward the mundane in order to communicate their gripes. For example: "Covet not thy neighbor's Wi-Fi."
I feel sure, though, that one name with which many will sympathize is "We can hear you having sex."
Personally, I find it odd that there is no evidence of the Wi-Fi name, "Hey, Google Street View car, go away."
Some of the BBC's information comes from OpenSignalMaps, which enjoys deducing moods (even political ones) from Wi-Fi names.
There are people who go beyond humor and local grievances to embrace extreme names. Earlier this year, police in Teaneck, N.J., investigated someone whose Wi-Fi name was "F*** All Jews and N******."
Naturally, there already exists a Tumblr feed -- wifi names -- that allows people to collate their best efforts. I feel sure that some will be titillated by the name "Router? Hardly even know her." But only some.
I wonder whether any of the more elastically minded readers of Technically Incorrect have felt themselves forced to name their Wi-Fi to make a point.
On my own street, no one seems to have found cause to express themselves this way. There again, I am not sure that anyone on my street ever talks to anyone else.