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Starbucks and virtually every other coffee shop worthy of faux hipster attention (the real hipsters having moved on to places that use siphons and play accordion music) have become synonymous with scenes of people using laptop computers in recent years, with rows of patrons sipping from paper cups while idly clicking, scrolling, pinching to zoom and staring lazily at their screens. Some even make temporary offices out of their few square feet of space, paying their rent in cups of joe and watched by hawk-eyed staff whose warm smiles drop a millimetre for every second a small cafe latte is nursed just that little bit too long.

For the rest of us, though, these table-hogging laptop luggers are a source of genuine intrigue. “What on earth could they be doing?” we wonder to ourselves, irked that they’ve taken all the good seats. “Are they actually working over there or are they just scrolling through photos on Facebook and tapping LOL into comment boxes?”

Japan’s My Navi News too was keen to know exactly what the folks who camp out at Starbucks are actually doing while the rest of us are engaging in conversations or staring awkwardly at the floor after making eye-contact one too many times with the cute barista, and put together a survey to find out. Let’s take a look at their findings.

Here’s a sample of the responses from those who regularly use their computers at the famous coffee-house, with a few comments from those who like to observe said species and who let My Navi News know their more interesting sightings.

  • “I go there just to kill time. Usually I read the news sites.” (female, 28)

Seems reasonable to us! We don’t buy that “news sites” bit, though…

  • “I once saw a guy sleeping with his face on his laptop keyboard. There was this line of the same one character on his screen growing longer and longer.” (male, 28)

Just so long as you checked he was still breathing.

  • “I write business reports.” (female, 31)

Business, eh? Yeah, us too…

  • “I saw a guy completely flip out at his screen once. I don’t know if he’d been playing a game or something…” (female, 32)

Maybe his WoW clan disowned him?

  • “I sort through my work emails.” (male, 33)

Not at work, but would still rather deal with work stuff in Starbucks than go home. Interesting.

  • “I once saw a guy type ‘I’m abroad on vacation!’ into his Facebook status. We were sitting in a Starbucks in Osaka…” (female, 28)

Perhaps he’s just really, really bad at geography? And if you can make out the words he’s typing perhaps you’re looking just a little bit too hard?

  • “I watched a guy sit there just staring at a completely black screen for I don’t know how long.” (male, 31)

Again, this is only funny if you’re sure he had a pulse.

  • “When I’m using my computer in Starbucks I’m usually writing up the notes from meeting on my way back to the office.” (female, 33)

So it’s just use who’s playing Candy Crush Saga, then?

  • “I saw a woman spill an entire cup of coffee over her keyboard and went into a mad panic.” (male, 27)

OK, we’d have laughed at that. Unless she was cute. We’re shallow that way.

And finally:

  • “I sit and watch movies while drinking coffee.” (female, 28)

Movies? In Starbucks? With the average blockbuster running some 120 minutes these days, we certainly hope this young lady is buying a few cups of coffee. And that she’s not streaming her flicks over Starbucks’ spotty wi-fi…

Watch your backs, Starbucks loafers–the people of Japan are watching you!

Source: My Navi Woman via Niconico News (Japanese)
Title image via Flickr