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Travel and Trust: How Interaction Breeds Connection

     “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it solely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of people and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime”  Mark Twain--Innocents Abroad (1869) 

     Mark Twain, whose work I’ve always found effortlessly witty while remaining informative, hit the nail on the head with this quote. Traveling is a way to broaden our horizons, expand our perspectives, and reframe our world views. 

      A study published 2013 in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science essentially confirms Twain’s ideologies! Across the five studies described in the work,it was found that the breadth of foreign travel experience was positively related to generalized trust. This significant connection found that the more places you travel, the more likely you are to trust; a finding that takes root in the increased exposure to diverse cultures and people. In accordance with empirical findings and Mark Twain’s viewpoint, Haig Services endorses the value in interacting with people who are different from ourselves, and expanding our knowledge base through these interactions. Immersion and associated transmission of knowledge develops trust, and this is increasingly difficult without such limited opportunity and ability to interact with others outside our small “safety bubble..”

     Without propinquity and the ability to gather, we remained confined to “one little corner of the earth,” as Twain humorously puts it, both in a physical and cognitive sense. Stuck in our own communities and small groups of people we interact with amidst the pandemic, we are interacting only with those who have similar views and experiences to ourselves. The homophily amplification process emphasizes the implications of this phenomenon: the more time we spend with those who are similar to us, the more similar we become. 

     At Haig Service, we want to once again bring people together, so that through gathering we can develop trust and expand our “safety bubble” beyond those in our immediate circles. 

     We want to spread awareness of what we can do with technology to expand our safety bubble, and defy this application process. We want to make it safe to go to places of gathering with diverse groups, creating bigger bubbles within which we can trust and feel safe, and we believe many of the answers to how this can become possible lie in the technology; the first step is to spread the awareness of how technology can facilitate feelings of trust and safety through the data. Monitoring via video and analytics is a key way we can expand our limited safety bubbles, and expand the borders of adhering to regulations in a safe and secure environment.

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