Blog 5

Sharing is Caring


I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the multiple dimensions of a sharing economy that the speakers in the KCRW podcast discuss. However, I think we have been participating in a sharing economy for a long time now. Even when I was little my parents always told me to share my toys with my siblings and classmates because it was the right thing to do.  Due to the way I was raised I still share by lending my car or clothes to many of my friends. I share my belongings with these people mainly because I trust them. One of the speakers in the podcast brought up this idea of trust and how it is very important in a sharing economy, but it is even important in a capitalist economy. We have to trust people in any situation and one speaker mentions this and uses the example about when we buy milk from a grocery store. We have to trust the fact that the milk we are buying is not spoiled or contaminated in any way. There has been trust built throughout many decisions that we make.

Due to the Internet and rapid increase in technology we are able to broaden this idea of sharing to more people other than our close friends. If you are away for a period of time you are now able to post it to Airbnb or other similar websites to get connected with an individual looking for a place to stay. However, Milo countered this idea by arguing that you do not know whom you are allowing into your home (drug addicts, prostitutes, etc.).  One speaker mentioned that hotels have the same liability, but they have insurance, similarly Airbnb in particular has a $1 million insurance policy. However, another concern that I even have is that the Internet eliminates the personal, face-to-face interaction that used to be present. Will that affect the trust between the individuals?

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By broadening this idea of sharing, we are essentially making a bigger community. We are no longer restricted to our direct communities that are our work or social environments, but there are new connections being formed. I have been participating in a sharing economy since I was little. However, as resources are being limited with the tragedy of the commons, more people are becoming aware of the struggles we are soon to face. Therefore, this idea of a sharing economy has come to the forefront as a topic to discuss, which will lead to more supporters in the future.

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7 thoughts on “Sharing is Caring

  1. I think you bring up an excellent point about the sharing economy not being a new idea. I believe that the reason it is getting noticed now, as opposed to several years ago, involves new technologies. With the creation of social media sites such as Facebook, people are used to sharing their information and building trust with others over the internet. Additionally, companies like Zipcar are able to flourish by pairing people with cars available nearby. This type of business would not have been able to exist five or ten years ago.

  2. The idea of trust in your blog kind of matches with my idea of responsibility. Currently, we assume a lot on the products we buy, we assume they will be fresh and complete inside the package, and I believe in the near future, as the development of the whole society our assuming will finally be something that we won’t need to pay attention to. Everyone just takes the responsibility and guarantees the quality.

  3. I really like your point about how technology is replacing some of our face-to-face interactions. I struggle with this, as well. If so much of the joy of sharing comes from our person-to-person interaction, even though technology is creating platforms for more connections, are they simply more shallow connections? As you said, trust between individuals and meaningful relationships may start to deteriorate, if our main source of social interaction is through technology.

  4. I am a true supporter of the phrase “sharing is caring”, however I think the phrase that more appropriately fits the topic of a sharing economy is that we must “care about sharing”. The idea of a sharing economy of the future relies heavily on the use of information technology that can essentially break the trust principle that defines what sharing is in the first place. Do you feel that society can adapt the internet so that the principle of sharing can be saved?

  5. I think some of you all have missed the point by linking sharing with your friends or family with a sharing economy. Or maybe the podcast did. While, yes, sharing is a familiar human behavior, these companies, organizations, or other entities are different in two key dimensions.

    1) They are BUILDING trust relationships. When you share with you friends, those relationships already exist.

    2) They are often monetizing some part of the exchange. Sharing eggs with your neighbors or your Playmobil with your sister Leila does not depend on an organizational structure.

  6. Pingback: Blog Council Report: Build your Blogging Skills | B-Ethics

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