With the rise of social media, many predicted it to be the end of real life interaction; that everyone is doomed to a life of isolation and loneliness. But we as social beings, as our primitive instincts dictate, came up with this brilliant-brilliant idea of sharing resources as always. Just like we share our thoughts, ideas, pictures, personal information online, people resorted to share things they own but don’t use 24/7. A famous collaborative consumption example is the power drill. You don’t need a power drill 24/7/365, you just need the hole, wouldn’t it be nice to share it or rent it while it’s not in use!
Most of us would have used at least one or two sharing economy websites. Very popular examples are Airbnb, Couchsurfing and Uber.
So, the textbook definition of sharing economy or collaborative consumption is, it is an economic model based on sharing, swapping, trading, or renting products and services, enabling access over ownership. It is reinventing not just what we consume but how we consume.
Here is a video of Rachel Botsman, an expert in collaborative consumption explaining how it kicks bottom. In this talk, she mainly explains what is collaborative consumption and the types of collaborative consumption – redistribution markets, collaborative lifesyles, product service systems. She further discusses how collaborative consumption goes deeper than consumption itself, it reshapes the current model of consumption, reinforces the positive values of our society such as trust, individual identity and community bonding and makes way for sustainable living.
This helps us save money, socialize and be a good citizen. Now, if you want to join the sharing economy, here is the link to an article which lists out different areas of your life : books and media, transportation, travel, fashion, farming, living space, office space, parking lots and social lending and the websites under each category that facilitates the collaboration