By comparing our world's interconnectedness to society's relative isolation about fifty years ago, it is clear that much has changed in a short period of time. In the 1970s, families booking flights for leisure travel was certainly not common. This has changed quickly even in the past two decades. In 2003, one-third of adults had flown in the previous twelve months. By 2009, almost forty percent had flown during the previous year. In 2012, fifty-two percent of Americans reported flying at least once during the previous year. People are increasingly willing and able to travel far from their homes for leisure, which connects them to other places and cultures with increasing frequency.
In the 1970s, most Americans read newspapers, which often contained news that was at least a few days old. They watched news broadcasts for an hour in the evening, and most people didn't have a means to receive any updates until the next day at the same time. In our current culture, people have the ability to be constantly updated on the news of their communities and the world at large through the internet and smartphones.
They also have the ability to connect with those who deliver the news via social media platforms, which wasn't possible even two decades ago. Families and friends who are separated by physical distances no longer have to wait weeks for the postal service to deliver mail in order to keep in touch; instead, they can almost instantaneously send and receive messages between continents. They can also use webcams and smartphones to communicate in real time, even sharing holidays and meals together over an internet connection.
These technological developments have certainly fostered interconnectedness as people increasingly learn more about the world beyond their immediate realm of influence. There are no signs that things will slow down anytime soon. Advances in virtual reality show great promise to connect our world even further through destination experiences, gaming developments, and even educational opportunities. Translation technologies make it possible to visit places without knowing a language at all—and to be able to fairly comfortably navigate new places, interacting with people in ways that have never been possible before.
These types of technological developments are likely to continue because they allow for greater independence, adventure, and relationship-building. Humans are naturally curious and long to keep in touch with those they love; these attributes are likely to foster continued developments in global interconnectedness among cultures.