This week, Shareflo had the privilege of interviewing Huffington Post featured Claire Marshall of Share Stories to hear her reflections about living solely off the sharing economy in London for a month. As she eloquently states “with a global economy that doesn’t seem to be recovering, a planet that is struggling with our mass consumption, and a generation who for the first time may have a lower standard of living than their parents — it seems to be a ride that is worth taking”.
In her journey’s you watch as these platforms invite us into people’s lives from simple things like shared meals to bigger risks such as loaning out your wheels. In church today the pastor said “We have too much to live with and not enough to live for”. It’s so true and easy to get caught up in. Whether it be activities or things it’s important to not let it be what it’s all about.
However, it is liberating to have the opportunity to share what you have with others. Claire’s heartfelt experiment gently reminds us of our entitlement issues and how sharing may just be the cure for it. She shares her encounter with Good Gym, a community of runners who add doing good into their training. They encourage and motivate each other in addition to accomplishing physical tasks that benefit their community. She also introduced us to Casserole Club whose slogan is “Doing something great with an extra plate”. The intention is to connect people who are already making a meal with an elderly person in their neighborhood who is most likely lonely and doesn’t cook anymore.
She calls out three reasons why this economy is birthed and embraced by our generation.
“The first one is growing up with technology. We may not have been coding in class but computers were in our homes from when we were kids. In a way my laptop and smartphone feel like extensions of me. It’s a bit like driving a car, after awhile changing gears just becomes second nature.
The second thing is we have felt the effect of the global financial crisis. There are less jobs and less money. We are the first generation with a lower standard of living than our parents.
And lastly this technology coupled with an increasing noise about environmental impact has driven us towards valuing experiences over stuff. That perfect Instagram photo of you scuba diving at Pi Pi island is worth more than a Louis Vuitton bag in our eyes.
So for many of us the sharing economy brings together these three things. We think nothing of using technology (and our phones are glued to us) to get rid of our old stuff and the experience of meeting up with a stranger (maybe making a new friend) is part of the appeal of the experience.”
Thankfully, she offered herself as a guinea pig and dove in hoping the share economy would..…well catch her. As a reader, it helps that she shares honestly about the parts that are failing so they can be confronted and approved upon. Obviously she is invested in collaborative consumption for the long haul. What she did is also helpful for those who are inexperienced and fearful about navigating this new way of life. I hear questions in regards to Airbnb like “Won’t your guests steal your stuff?”. Claire plays guide and allows us to learn from her first hand experiences .
She was not only rejected by TaskRabbit to become one of their taskers, but was also stood up by a tasker that she had scheduled to have work for her. . She was also committed to trying another home share experience other than her familiar Airbnb rentals and learned a lesson that could save others from disaster. “I had a great stay but the next day I was getting ready to leave when I got a bit of a rude shock. Unlike Airbnb, Homsetay only takes part of the payment via your credit card / Paypal and lets you sort the rest of it out with the host. So I came downstairs to a lovely note from Ana saying just leave the cash on the counter — except I didn’t have any!”. Luckily she sorted out her situation without embarrassment and shared it so we wouldn’t fall into the same predicament.
Another introduction we gleaned from Claire was to something that will be more common in the future. Websites that let you establish an online reputation that works across sharing economy platforms like Traity https://traity.com/ and Karma https://havekarma.com/. These apps are designed to validate you and give you cred so others will find it easier to entrust their house, dog, or favorite jacket to you. As the share economy grows steadily so are the boundaries that ensure safety in our transactions and experiences.
Check out Claire’s blog and sign up to get the sharing economy guide she is writing! She will introduce you to the undiscovered gems of the sharing economy and is also working on a book that talks more about it’s social aspects. As Claire puts it best “We are happiest when we share!”
Rockin with the Good Gym Gear and Friends!!
Meditating Against the Homestay View
Other places you can read up on Claire’s experiment are:
Can Anyone Actually Live In The Sharing Economy?
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Checkout her Instagram Page : www.instagram.com/clairefmarshall