The Darwin Social Noise Blog.


The NOwner generation isn’t just a millennial thing

NOwners are the generation of the sharing economy, a way of life that’s changing our perception of the world we once knew. Thanks to the unlimited range of resources made available by globalization, technology, and social media, this new philosophy is here to stay.

The word “NOwner” was coined to describe people like us who aren’t interested in owning anything; what we want are sensations and experiences. As the driving force behind the sharing economy, we’re the reason why terms like car sharing, carpooling, coworking and couch surfing are popping up everywhere these days, although we still have to explain them to more than a few linguistic stragglers.

NOwnership is a global movement that’s getting bigger every year, where young and not-so-young people share modes of transportation like bikes and cars, workspaces, and even accommodations when we travel.

But what defines a NOwner?

1. Being a NOwner isn’t just a millennial thing.

Although this trend has found greater acceptance among millennials across the globe (72% of them apply it in their daily lives), 28% percent of the adult population over age 50 has also embraced this new lifestyle.

As explained by The People Who Share, the participation rate of over 50s on sharing sites has increased over 375% in the last year, and more and more older adults are jumping on the sharing bandwagon every day.

2. We’re nomads.

We don’t want to be burdened by property of any kind, and milestones like buying a house or a car just aren’t important anymore. Such major purchases would tie us down, anchoring us to a place before we know if we want to stay there for good.

Instead of getting “Carpe Diem” tattoos, now we truly do seize the day, collecting adventures instead of material goods.


3. We want experiences.

Not owning property (and not even wanting to) doesn’t worry us at all; in fact, it’s the perfect excuse for taking off on different adventures and finding enriching experiences.

We prefer to spend our hard-earned money on making fantastic memories by traveling alone or with others, attending music festivals and cultural events, or going on spur-of-the-moment outings.


4. We pay for a service when we really need it.

Enjoying different experiences is compatible with driving when we need to, sharing a car to get to another city, or even listening to songs on our smartphones or watching movies without having to buy a tangible item or take up space on our hard drive. We’re all about convenience, flexibility, and the freedom to use services as and when we need them.


5. Everything is just a download away.

And everything you need is literally in the palm of your hand. From a smartphone you can share trips on Blablacar, get to work with Car2Go, find a place to crash on Airbnb when you visit another part of the world, listen to music on Spotify, watch shows and films on Netflix, and even find a partner for your friends on Tinder (because of course you don’t use it).


So what does all of this mean?

Society is changing, and things that were once products are now considered services. We’re not just talking about millennials or Gen Xers; we’re talking about a user-driven way of life that has blurred the boundaries between generations, where convenience and experience are more important than ownership and putting down roots.

While some brands have already grasped this and built it into their DNA, others stubbornly refuse to accept and even fear the sharing trend. But technology offers a fantastic opportunity they can’t afford to miss: the chance to reach out to NOwners, get to know them, and adapt to their needs.

So don’t fight it, go with it! (:


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