Sharing is Caring
With a dwindling economy at hand, we’re now experiencing the last gasps of the gradual death of a once hyper-consumerist society. The question remains: what do we do with the piles of unused, unwanted, or unneeded stuff we’ve managed to accumulate without simply contributing to the world’s amassing garbage heaps?
Innovative free-thinkers have flipped old business models on their heads and come up with a vision that’s digitally fresh yet so archaically traditional, its genius resides in its simplicity. As five year olds, we propagated a form of it (or were told to) on the regular; it’s called collaborative consumption, which is really just a fancy name for sharing.
Heralded by the Times as one of the ten ideas that will change the world, this emergent style within the business arena places primacy on peer-to-peer experiential exchange rather than the purchasing of goods for the sake of ownership, which all too often produces the nasty side-effects we’ve seen on Earth, as well as our bank accounts.
The communities we inhabit today are fraught with anonymity, paranoia, and a general distrust of fellow neighbors. This newly pioneered approach encourages us to break down these barriers as we come to realize the importance of establishing a sense of interconnectedness with each other.
This latest movement has been on a steady rise since the Napster days, mutating and budding within different platforms ever since. Companies such as Netflix, Zipcar, Airbnb, and many others have already adopted and reconfigured the trend to fit their own schemata. As this method of exchange catches on within the marketplace, we’ll see a reduction of heedless consumerism, an increase in interpersonal cooperation, and an overall healthier planet.
So ask yourself, why own when you can borrow, rent, swap, barter, lend, or share what you need from your neighbors just down the road?
Image by Toban Black, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.