Thursday April 16, 2020 |Notes

Physical distance is a small barrier compared to trust

Physical distance is a much smaller barrier to connection than trust and empathy. One of the greatest benefits of technology and the digital economy is the capability of connection. Whether connecting people in remote areas with goods they'd otherwise be unable to access or connecting people in distant locations, the interment has made distance less of a barrier than at any time in the world previously.

Most of us are under stay-at-home orders currently, and there's a definite lack of real world connection. Instead we're increasing and suddenly using tech tools like zoom for video calls, slack for asynchronous communications, and doordash for meal delivery.

(Quick aside: Yesterday, my six year old son told me he had a lot of zoom calls today before correcting himself - "actually only one tomorrow and then two on Friday").

There's been a lot of discussion about what lasting repercussions and changes will come as a result of our forced social distancing experiment. It's hard to believe we'll entirely abandon these tools and it's clear there is a benefit.

There's no reason to frame a debate around connection via digital means vs real-world. They should complement one another. Digital communications are readily available and should be used to enhance connection by helping us build trust, share information, and empathize in a greater capacity than is possible when confined by physical means.