So I’m sitting at the airport. A sigh in unison vibrates through the terminal when the announcement booms over the intercom. Another Delay. I can’t help but marvel at the incredible cross section of people. Everyone trying to get somewhere. So many people all around and yet I feel isolated. Maybe my earphones and the hypnotic stare at my laptop are sending a message? Even so, alone. All this brings me to a recent post by Greg Verdino that got me thinking. He was inspired by Michael Nicholas of Carat who said when discussing the fundamental importance of social connections and the impact of groups on individual behavior, “You can understand a lot about the importance of social connections by looking at the punishments we bestow upon individuals who do wrong.” The examples are endless. Criminals are locked up in jails and prisons -- taken out of the community and largely cut off from their normal social connections. Really bad criminals are put in solitary confinement. No social connections at all. A young child gets a time out and a teen might get sent to his room, or even grounded. The idea of social networks and the importance of community are far from new. In many ways they are the fabric of what makes us human. Technology has enabled a new form of social connections. Whether you have a Facebook or Myspace page or not you are part of social networks. Sharing experiences, making new friends and connecting with old ones. That will never go away. If anything interactive social networks will overtime emulate social networks elsewhere even more. You don’t open the door for a stranger and you won’t accept every invite to become a friend. You don’t trust an anonymous person to help make a critical decision and you will begin to seek the expert rather than the rant of one unhappy customer on a review. Interactive social networks will evolve into more exclusive micro communities, if you misbehave you may get kicked out and while crowd sourcing has is place, when making critical decisions you’ll seek the expert.