Is ‘home’ still a physical place we inhabited or has that changed?
What makes a home? Our previous understandings of home were representative of the physical place we inhabited. But how has that changed?
Global nomads are helping to redefine what it means to call a place ‘home,’ and the co-living lifestyle embraces the sense of being a part of a global community. Home can be wherever you wish it to be, for however long you want it to be. Beyond that, with all of the innovations in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR), the way that individuals engage with physical spaces is also shifting.
Despite the ability to easily move around the world, and despite all of the technology that makes it easier to live in a more isolated way, people still crave a deeper connection to a particular place, as well as to one another. After all, human touch is a fundamental need that can’t be replaced by technology.
So, it would appear that we’ve reached an interesting paradox: we’ve become increasingly more separated as global citizens, but we now have a greater need for deeper personal connections.
Using technology to showcase an actual community, rather than a digital community, is one way to bring people together again. The City of Detroit’s The Neighbourhood is one example of the way increased connectivity (and some brilliant storytelling) can help create a deeper connection to the city in its residents.
Will technology ever replace the human desire for human connection and sense of belonging?
Exploring the world and meeting new people is exciting, but there’s nothing quite like going home and returning to your roots—to the stability and comfort that comes with a true sense of belonging. And, sometimes, it’s a lack of technology that allows us to slow down and truly reconnect with each other. For OFX customer Philip Johnston, going home to a place where modern technology is largely absent has allowed him to make the most of the time he spends with his father.
Philip spent most of his life away from his home country, Ireland, and he now lives in the United States. While visiting his 96-year-old father in 2016, the two of them took a trip up the winding roads of the North West coast of Ireland. They stumbled upon a ‘For Sale’ sign for a property with breathtaking views from a 300-foot vantage point above the ocean, and they decided to put in an offer.
After closing the deal, Philip used OFX to transfer his funds internationally. Then, he started helping with the massive renovation to breathe new life into the house that had been ignored for so long. As a result, his father was able to start enjoying views of the ocean and the North Channel where, during WWII, he had patrolled and sailed with the Royal Navy.
Reflecting on what it’s like to live in this unique house, even if only during short visits from the U.S., Philip says he’s been able to find that human connection again through a simpler way of life.
“It has given me such pleasure to see my father reminiscing about his experiences during the 1940s. Living in the house brings back early memories for my father, as the absence of technology encourages conversation, reading, and a different pace.”
In some ways, technology has certainly brought us together and made it easier to exchange ideas and collaborate in ways that weren’t possible in the past. But it’s important to remember that ‘home’ isn’t just a place where you keep your things; it’s the place that makes you feel connected to others. That’s why today’s best innovators are focused on improving technology with the goal of bringing people together again.
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