Mobility and increasingly complex social structures The pace of social change is breaking down traditional family and social ties, thus weakening kinship and dependency structures. Accelerating social change is increasing the complexity of social spaces and how people perceive the physical and virtual world they live in thereby increasing the cognitive load required for living. People exist in at least three interlocking worlds: the physical, mental and virtual. Mobility freedoms provide a critical and pivotal element between community development and community breakdown – between inclusion and exclusion. Social networks are now a combination of the physical and virtual worlds; fusing together to generate new mobilities. • The social confidence for sharing in a wider mobility sharing community is provided by the IT matching system that supports it – generating perceptions of trust inherent in close knit communities. • The perception of the freedom that your mobility affords is of fundamental importance to the manner and competence with which you interact with others. • We can identify at least three interlocking worlds in which people exist: the physical, mental and virtual. “The modern individual grows up in a highly unstable environment in which almost everything is attainable, the only thing being that you have to consume. The snag is that you have to engineer your own success; if you fail, you must be either lazy or sick” – Paul Verhaeghe, 2012 The increasing pace of social change is breaking down traditional family and social ties, weakening kinship and dependency structures and changing social roles, for example between the genders (rising divorce rates and multi-parent families being two of the most predominant changes). Traditional explanatory variables of behaviour patterns are becoming less and less relevant. In turn, accelerating social change is increasing the complexity of social spaces and how people perceive the physical/ virtual world they live in: increasing the cognitive load required for living. People now exist and move around within a myriad of different peer groups, each of which can exert social pressure or a particular norm for behaviour; and can also provide reward and enhanced well-being. We have moved from the traditional to the urban to the virtual village for kinship and dependency. In addition to the significant impacts of the reduction of traditional family and kinship structures in society, the impact of internet communication has been transformational. We can now identify 3 interlocking worlds in which people exist – the physical, the mental and the virtual. It is possible to see people travelling and texting, while listening to music or the radio on headphones. Although the activity is taking place while walking down the street, the individual prefers the virtual world to the physical. This behaviour has quickly become ‘social’. Within modern society, it is lot sufficient to understand mobility purely through expressed mobility, in terms of patterns of trips or web-sites surfed. The perception of the freedom that your mobility is giving you is of fundamental importance to the manner and competence with which you interact with others – it can provide positive self-esteem and mental well-being, it can provide negative self-imagery and assist mental decline. Multiplied over whole communities, mobility freedoms provide a critical and pivotal element between community development and community breakdown – between inclusion and exclusion. “The modern complexity of people’s activity spaces (regular and occasional) in physical and virtual space and of their much wider awareness spaces makes the conceptualization of people’s mental maps almost impossible in the modern age” Social networks are now a combination of the physical and virtual worlds; fusing to generate new mobilities. The new ‘sharing society’ is a good example, and here we need to distinguish between the so called ‘accessible society’ (shared common services such as car or bike sharing, or public transport) and the ‘sharing society’ in which I share my mobility. In traditional close knit communities which still exist across Europe, sharing is part of daily life. I will give a lift to that person because they are one of us, they are known. The ‘hill people’ and the ‘valley people’ of the highlands of Papua New Guinea are now extended to the artificiality of the built environment – the ‘village people’ of Brooklyn; and the now emerging virtual environment of internet communities. The confidence inspired in close knit rural communities is less common in urban social networks but is being rejuvenated through new types of trust that people place within new internet communities. Particularly popular among the new digital generations, the old concept of sharing is revived. Lift-giving through smart phones is one example. However, is the type of sharing and trust that is developed in close-knit communities the same as that being observed in mobility sharing schemes? Like primates, we naturally share the things that are most important for survival. Humans try to achieve this natural sharing through the various forms of economic and social system operated; and through moral codes of conduct. It is also true that we like to share. The act of sharing releases Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, into the body and increases feelings of well-being. It also provides an incentive to protect the bond formed against other surrounding bonds. Sharing, so psycho-analysts will tell us, has socially desirable, though perverse, consequences. A car-pooling scheme may work in a close knit physical or virtual village; but not for a broader population. However, the solution to this may exist within the potential of IT mobility services. The ‘social confidence’ for sharing in a wider Uber or car-pooling community is provided by the IT matching system that supports it – generating the perception of trust and security inherent in close knit communities.