It turns out, we may be more social than we were 30 years ago — at least in public spaces.
In September 2008, two graduate students working for Keith Hampton, a professor at Rutgers, raised a camera atop a 16-foot tripod to film down into Bryant Park, the sprawling green space behind the main branch of the New York Public Library. They hit record, then milled about nearby pretending they had nothing to do with the rig, as it semi-surreptitiously filmed the comings and goings of hundreds of New Yorkers. The charade didn’t last. After an hour, Lauren Sessions Goulet, the more senior of the pair, found herself talking to the park’s private security force, which sent her to see their bosses, the Bryant Park Corporation. She was nervous.
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