Monday, June 13, 2016

How Familiar are We and Our Students with the Digital Economy?

The Pew Research Center provides interesting information.

A national Pew Research Center survey of 4,787 American adults – its first-ever comprehensive study of the scope and impact of the shared, collaborative and on-demand economy – finds that usage of these platforms varies widely across the population. In total, 72% of American adults have used at least one of 11 different shared and on-demand services. And some incorporate a relatively wide variety of these services into their daily lives: Around one-in-five Americans have used four or more of these services, and 7% have used six or more.

At the same time, around one-quarter of Americans (28%) say they have not used anymajor shared or on-demand platforms, and many are wholly unfamiliar with the tools and vocabulary of the new digital economy. For instance, 15% of Americans have used ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft, but twice as many have never heard of these apps before. Similarly, 11% of Americans have used home-sharing platforms like Airbnb or VRBO, but roughly half have never heard of home-sharing sites. In addition:

  • 61% of Americans have never heard of the term “crowdfunding.”
  • 73% are not familiar with the term “sharing economy.”
  • 89% are not familiar with the term “gig economy.”

For the full study, please click here. For what it’s worth, my San Francisco daughter regularly uses Uber. I never have. Her artist friend successfully used crowdfunding to send his invited art piece and himself to a European exhibition. I have contributed to a crowdfunding effort. I have never heard the term “gig economy.”


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