Security Hassles, Travel and the Internet Substitute

I’ve spent a lot of time on the Internet this week. My bounty is a lot of new information on web marketing, managerial effectiveness and salesmanship. All I can say is the research was enriching.

On Saturday I will travel by air to Los Angeles. I’m going to experience first-hand the differences between Air security and Internet security. Clearly there is more energy and more friction involved in air security.

As much as I enjoy the Internet, it is not a good replacement for face-to-face interactions. Yes, I predict that I’ll be grumpy about the wasted time in intolerable security lines. But it is a small price to pay to experience my LA friends and colleagues.

So the security angle is interesting. In a sense security raises the transaction price for transactions that are separated by geography. Perhaps the cost is one hour for each departure.

Economists will tell you that the higher security costs will drive the marginal traveler to seek substitutes such as the Internet. I assert there is a more important dynamic. If the number of trips (and the number of face-to-face interactions) declines, the value of each interaction increases.

I can write a lot of emails and do a lot of online research in an hour. But the expense to value ratio for the human interaction, in this case, skews toward travel. I’d be less productive without the Internet. I’d be less happy without travel.