Monday, March 19, 2007

Long-Distance Pittsburgh

Richard Florida was kind enough to take notice of my thoughts on his "The Mobile" and "The Stuck" concept. One great benefit of the blogosphere is the new links you can make when you put your ideas out there. The lead comment on Florida's post referenced another blog where the life of the Platinum Gypsy is a topic of discussion:

The trend [of long-distance relationships] starts before college, when young people are tied to technology, communicating with people all over the world, and making friends with people they’ve never met in person.

Then college comes, and the experience includes much more travel than it used to. Junior year abroad used to be the time to travel. Now there’s also a summer internship for most students, and many students travel to another state every summer for a coveted internship of one sort or another. Among college students 78% say they have been in a long-distance relationship.

After that, traveling for a job seems normal. Thirty years ago, people would generally look for a job out of college in a city they wanted to build a life in. Today, the first job is just a first step.

And millenniels are experimenters. They see their twenties as a time to try out a bunch of different jobs, and they also see it as a time to try out a bunch of different cities. It used to be that you could tell where someone was living by the area code on their phone. Now that area code on their cell phone only tells you where they started.

When I talk about nomads, I'm referencing the above migration trend. 20-somethings are forever on the move. The time to capture them is when they are looking to settle and start a family. However, they are also being socialized to a life on-the-move. They possess the skills to maintain a long-distance relationship, the kind that could evolve into Network Pittsburgh.

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