Lyft, Airbnb, and Uber have created quite a stir. Some have claimed it’s “The End of Capitalism” or “The Millennial’s American Dream” another says. Social medial can’t seem to get enough of the “new” ways to provide goods and services.
To the proponents of these dreams, I say “Beware, sharing is not all it’s cracked up to be!”
First of all, I must acknowledge that I have a predisposition to suspect the motives of anyone who wants to share. From a very early age I learned to be leery of anyone who asks for you “a little bite” of your hotdog or a “sip” of your chocolate milk. Experience taught me that not only would the little bite from the hot dog not be small, but there was a good chance they would also take the remaining wiener, leaving you with only a smear of ketchup and mustard on an empty, soggy bun. And as for sipping your chocolate milk, if it wasn’t slurped in one big gulp, chances are very good there would be left over hot dog bun floating on the top.
If the “no sharing” lesson didn’t take hold in grade school, college should have finished off the sharing spirit. It only took you one time to learn that if you hold a keg party in your house and put a cup out for people to “chip in” not only will you not get any money, but someone will steal the cup. At the same time the keg is being emptied other “guests” will share everything in your cupboards or refrigerator (cooked or raw).
Of course, everything changed when I graduated from college and entered into the world of grown-ups and business. Times were tough and because I was living on a tight starting salary it made sense to me to share an apartment. It turns out that sharing included roommates skipping out in the middle of the night with my record collection in tow and leaving me to discover that he had a girlfriend four states away that loved to talk on the telephone –funny how he thought it would be a great idea to get a phone line under my name only.
Now I hear of the great idea called Airbnb that suggests sharing my home with completely unknown individuals, who were paired with me by a computer program, over the internet. I mean what could go wrong with that idea? Or better yet, I should drive and pick up a stranger (Lyft anyone) and take them on a ride like a taxi to a destination of their choice. Again, what could go wrong with that? (Hasn’t anyone noticed that taxi cabs have sturdy bullet proof dividers between them and their customers?)
Now many would think that I am over reaching and my fears of “someone is being taken advantage” of are totally unfounded but, I still have misgivings. I guess it is hard to get over going to a local diner with high school buddies and ordering french fries. I learned pretty quick it was a good idea to order that side of fries with a sharp fork to defend them with.