Thoughts on the Sharing Economy

After listening to the podcast and reading several other articles about the idea of the Sharing Economy, I am still feeling a little unsure about this concept. On the surface I think that the idea makes sense. We share things all the time, so why not make a business out of the idea of sharing? And if people are struggling financially shouldn’t they have access to certain services and products without the burden of ownership? However, while the idea of the sharing economy seems like a good option for people who may really need it, I am still skeptical of how widespread and successful it will become in this country.


The argument that resonated most with me from the podcast was the idea of trust. In general, I think that it is difficult for most people to trust that other individuals and companies have their best interests in mind. And the Sharing Economy puts the idea of trust at a whole new level. Personally, I don’t think that I could ever see myself sleeping on a stranger’s couch just to save some money. And I’m sure a lot of people would feel the same way. Even with the regulations and background checks put in place, I still think that a lot of Americans would feel uncomfortable with the idea of sharing their homes, cars, appliances, etc. and placing that amount of trust in other individuals.

In addition, I think that many Americans place high value on the idea of ownership and consumption. We like to be able to call things our own and get a sense of satisfaction out of making a purchase for ourselves. This goes against the ideals of the Sharing Economy and I think that it may be hard for a lot of people to change this attitude. As one of the speakers put it in the podcast, big purchases often help people develop their personal identities. Essentially, I think that the concept of the Sharing Economy makes sense in terms of efficiency and providing options for people struggling financially, but I am skeptical of how the majority of Americans will respond to it and how successful it will become. 


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Sharing Economy

  1. I agree with many of your statements. I would also not feel comfortable opening up my home to a complete stranger. Even with background checks I would have safety concerns because you always here on the news about that time when things went south. Also, just because someone may have a clean background does not mean that they won’t do something illegal in the future.

  2. Especially in the case of AirBnB or other couch surfing examples, i think a big and so far unstated issue is the role of gender.

    Do women feel much less wiling to participate? Does unwanted sexual attention or even aggression limit its growth?

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