Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 10.42.26 AMThis year, we’re sure to see continued emphasis on making global connections through high-profile international sporting events, such as the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Of course much of the spotlight will shine on the respective host countries and cities and their local cultures.

In recent months, we’ve been consumed with the publicity surrounding a number of events abroad, such as the birth of the royal baby in the United Kingdom and the passing of former South African President Nelson Mendela. Whether sharing joy and excitement or remembering and grieving, the global community has become interdependent. Connections are further heightened by the immediacy provided by technology. Each and every day people all over the world are using social media, video conferencing and other innovations to eliminate the barriers and boundaries formerly placed by geography.

According to Mintel’s recent consumer trends report, 47% of US adults are excited by the idea of traveling abroad. Technology now makes it possible to subdue curiosity through an online Google search about foreign countries, customs, athletes, celebrities and recipes, as well as make connections with the people in that locale via social media. You can find a friend close to the action on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. For instance, 62% of surveyed US adults say they’ve eaten ethnic food and are confident in their ability to prepare it at home. There is a furthered opportunity for lasting allegiances as more that half (57%) of the professional sports fans say they are loyal to team that is not near where they currently live and long-distance cheering is eased by advancements in technology.

With new technology being introduced almost every month, we are quickly bridging the gap between countries and cultures. I feel more connected to the global community than ever before.

How have you used social media, video conferencing or other technologies to communicate and interact with people in other countries?