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Social Media

Is the airport a social network?

The airport may be the world’s biggest/smallest physical social network. The hubs in Atlanta, Heathrow, and Munich bring people from all across the world, speaking the same language in design.

Airport signs and rules are the same everywhere. You can figure out where you need to go just by following the terminal numbers. You can also ghost the herd of passengers and not talk to anyone.

Airports are symbolic of our online social lives: massive, interconnected and universal places where we’re surrounded by potentially thousands of similar interests. Yet we stick to our tribe, keep an eye on our feeds of people we’ve never met.

That’s what makes me so excited about ambient networking apps like Highlight. We can meet new people simply by being near them in reality, uniting physical and digital worlds.

Today, we connect through screens. Tomorrow we could connect through real audible conversations and shake hands. Face to face relationships is more valuable than ever because the Internet is making them scarce.

Silent networking is ok too. We can connect to a global audience on Instagram through an image which says a thousand words. But it’d be nice on occasion to ask someone like @juunn or @finn how they take excellent photos. Connecting in a lengthy conversation through Instagram is hard.

Google+, maybe?

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of Discvr.blog and four books.