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Millennials' role

Millennials' role

The success of the sharing economy and the engine for its growth has been attributed to ’Millennials’ or also known as Gen Y, Echo Boomers and Gen Me. These are people who are born between the year 1980 and 2000. Millennials grew up with the internet and are comfortable with engaging and transacting online. More than any generation before them, they turn to the internet for information on every aspect of their lives rather than ask someone else. They are more comfortable online and they are more engaged by apps and social media (Lenhart, 2010). For millennials, using apps to access goods and services is more the norm than the exception.

Millennials are accustomed to using goods and services through access and not purchase; it is easy to get a lot of things on the internet for free or for a small rental fee. Many millennials came of age during and after the GFC, and so they are more inclined towards access than ownership because they saw how valuable possessions can easily lose their worth when the global economic climate changes.

Many millennials grew up during the GFC and experienced the consequences of the crisis first hand. As a result they are distrustful of business organisations and prefer more personable relations with others, even through the internet than dealing with business corporations. They are more comfortable sleeping in the house of a stranger through Airbnb than sleeping in a hotel, which is even much more expensive. They will rather take an Uber knowing someone is driving their own car to make some extra cash than a taxi driver working for a taxi company.

Millennials are not only the biggest consumers of the sharing economy, they are also some of its biggest producers, renting and giving out their possessions for rent. The sharing economy then is an economy of millennials, by millennials for millennials, and everyone else who uses it.


Reflection

Watch this video on ‘The Sharing Economy for Millennials’

Do some of the comments made on the video resonate with you and your view of how generations use the share economy?

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This article is from the free online course:

Business Futures: the Sharing Economy

RMIT University

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