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What Will We Consider LOCAL In The Future?

dgy. In the past, „local“ was the place, where spent most of the time of our lives. It was where we went to school, where we were playing in our local sports club, etc. Therefore it was, where most of the people we know where living too. It’s one of the most important reason for people to stay in a place instead of moving to some other city is the lack of a personal social network at the future destination.

With increasing numbers of digital friends in social networks, the experience of „local“ is changing. People online go further than just collecting as many unknown individuals as possible around their MySpace- or Facebook-profiles. As a result, this interaction builds multinational and multiethnical groups of digital friends.

Social network userst spend quality time in communicating with their friends. Over time this is building up a new kind of friendship between these people. This kind of connection is in general waiting to be completed. This means that everyone, if he or she’s interested in some other persone, sooner or later wants to meet the opposite. With increasing number of virtual friends in one particular physical place, the chance of visiting this location is increasing. Once arriving in this place, meeting all the friends, the person arriving will feel at home – or local. Of course it depends on the number of virtual connections that end up becoming friends. But if there is a critical number of friends in a place, the visitor adopts this new location as one of the places he or she calls home or where the person feels local.

With the increasing possibility of travelling for ever more people, the number of individuals, with more than one place where they feel local, increases. With increasing connectivity the potential places of where one could feel home depends on the desire of the resident people to connect with others through social networks and become – at first – virtual firends with several people.

Looking at all this, the definition of „local“ changes. Since it’s to a large extent defined by the number of social contacts one has in a certain city, „local“ more and more moves in definition from „where i grew up“ to „where the people live I connect with most“. And if that happens, it’s very much likely that people start feeling local in more than one place.

Questions:

–> How many people does it need in a physical place (e.g. in a city, some geographically definable place) for someone to feel comfortably at home there, for someone to feel welcome as if he or she were a or local person.

–> Where’s the critical mass for starting migration-waves from one place to other places? How many peers do I need to feel connected to in an other places for me to make this other location more attractive than the present „home“?

–> What happens if people on larger scale start feeling at home in more than one place?

–> Does feeling local in more than one places have any limits and if yes, which ones are they?

–> What are the parameters of the equasion? ([total time spent in a virtual network] / [amount of virtual friends] / [number of places where virtual friends come from] / …)

Conclusion:

–> There’s a lot more to this. Got any experiences in this direction? Looking forward to your feedback here.


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