How peer-to-peer concept is changing our lives into collaborative lifestyles

19.09.2018

“Technology changes society by changing our environment to which we, in turn, adapt.“ William Fielding Ogburn

In the mid-90s, the internet introduced exciting and previously unheralded levels of communication and created a stronger alliance among individuals. It has enabled peers, not only to connect but to collaborate and forge online communities on numerous platforms. Among everything, internet expanded the initial idea of how a traditional business should look and function.

Right now we live in the 21st century which is marked as the Collaborative Economy era and is often connected to the term “sharing economy” or “peer-to-peer economy”. This Collaborative era enables individuals to participate in sharing activities in the form of renting, lending, and trading goods, services, transportation, housing or even money.

CHANGING LIFESTYLES

Over the past few years, peer-to-peer networks have considerably increased in popularity as currently, one out of five consumers is actively using platforms similar to Airbnb, Uber, and/or Couchsurfing. The peer-to-peer economy has largely changed lifestyles in the digital age and provided great economic benefits as saving money and increased access to resources. It shines a light on how we participate in society in general since digitalization has become highly integrated into our everyday life and impacts our overall engagement at work, leisure and shopping. Changes in lifestyle are affecting movements of people, consumer products and information as well as the nature of consumption.

Besides everything, we live in an era where the cost of living is on the rise, which is why individuals are streaming towards sharing economy which gives them greater choices and access to numerous services or goods. Overall the peer-to-peer networks can satisfy both need of affordability and authenticity for individuals while at the same time giving them the ability to exchange the underutilized goods which they already own.

NOT JUST A “MILLENNIAL THING”

Millennials are often categorized as “the cheapest generation” who would rather than spending money to buy materialistic things, spend money on experiences.

At the same time, this is the generation that makes the best use of the fast-growing technology and their own excess capacity of goods and services. Especially, with so many shared resources, it makes a lot of sense to cooperate with other individuals, especially if these are the assets that one would not be able to afford independently.

WHY WE’RE INCLINED TO SHARE

Sharing tends to hold an altruistic meaning as it arises from every individual need to help and care for others. Sharing phenomenon coincides with a large-scale trend of sustainable living, which means that individuals share because of the mentality that “it is the right thing to do”. Meanwhile, another reason behind why people share is a social-hedonic motive as “I share to connect with others”, considering that seeking human connection is a big part of sharing. It allows us to form new connections and maintain existing one’s weather with our parents, children, siblings, life partners, friends, co-workers or neighbors. Sharing goes hand in hand with trust and bonding since humans have a strong and instinctive desire to shape and maintain relationships with others.

In the end, with the unusual pace and nature of technological change today we can expect exciting, interesting and mostly positive changes in our everyday lives. So far, the rise of the sharing economy had a great impact on a society and is predicted to go in the same direction also in the future. So let’s see where it takes us.

Literature:

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