The changes that technology has brought to our culture are mind-boggling to say the least, children growing up now have a totally different way of viewing the world to their parents, and are about as far away from their grandparents conceptually as the milky way is from the earth! We are going through a revolution of sorts and it is our ability to connect and to gather information in minutes that is fueling this new direction, which funnily enough, isn’t so new after all.
Before we all became consumers, people used to trade goods and services, money often wasn’t even a part of the equation, you would trade away your surplus for the things you couldn’t provide for yourself. With the growth of social media there has been a huge return to the barter system and it is happening on a much larger scale than would previously have been possible. I had no idea there was so much of this stuff going on, it’s called swap trading and you can trade just about anything. You may also have heard of a kind of car pooling in cities where you pay a monthly fee in order to have access to a car when you need it, with companies such as Go Get.
So the qualities that humanity needs to develop in order to survive on this planet are actually evolving as we move from being passive consumers to what Rachel Botsman describes as highly enabled collaborators. In this TED talk she speaks about collaborative consumption and how there is a renewal of the importance of community and of trust that is arising in the new virtual world.
The internet is enabling sharing of goods at an unprecedented rate. It’s a global phenomenon that cuts out the middleman and is gaining traction all the time.
There are fascinating points and insights in this video, for ex. how trust will be measured. It’s no longer your credit score. But more importantly, it might help you rethink things you think you “need”.
You don’t always need ownership — you need access.