It’s been five years now since I’ve had the notion that eventually technology will enable us to connect with strangers and make new friends in a way that used to happen, say, in a small village.
The technology to make this possible is already there from a computer science point of view.
And I believe it is observable that, as a society, we are moving in the direction of accepting that new reality and embracing it, slowly, step by step.
The internet has become an “enabler of trust”.
A couple of examples follow.
Yesterday I finally met Brad Feld in person. I have come to know him from his blog over the last year or so; and he turns out to have been exactly what he had projected to be in his online presence: no deception, no disparity.
Increasingly, in the masonry contracting business, more and more customers are contacting me through email or SMS, then sending me pictures of the work they want done, followed by a quotation sent electronically by me, and proceeding to hire my company without ever talking to me in person or on the phone, simply based on my online presence.
That’s a powerful shift enabled by the proliferation of technology.
People have gradually learned to trust through eBay, Amazon, PayPal, et al, and now they extend that trust more broadly and will continue to do so in ways that would have been unfathomable a few decades ago.
And it would seem that placing confidence through technology is turning out to be more reliable than the old ways, more often than not.
We are headed towards a more transparent world, open to making new connections which are generated through technology rather than through geography.
This is a major cultural transformation.
I would say it is actually epic.