As NPR’s Sam Sanders reports, a small but growing number of 20-something professionals are shunning ownership altogether and turning to the sharing economy for all of their basic needs.
They rent everything — beds, workspaces, cars, bicycles, furniture — and live a life of self-imposed ultra-minimal ownership.
Who needs stuff?
As a result, some young professionals, like 27-year-old Steven Johnson, see no need to own anything.
Johnson uses Lyft and Uber instead of a car; a PodShare bunk bed in lieu of an apartment; a gym membership for fitness, laundry and showers; and WeWork to run his business. He owns only two outfits, which he rotates accordingly.
Material minimalist / digital hoarder
Though folks like Johnson rent by choice, many others use the sharing economy as a financial crutch. A rough housing market coupled with insane student loan debt has prompted some millennials to pare down — at least when it comes to material items.
“I talked to a lot of minimalists,” one researcher told NPR. “They own like 30 things, but … they hoard digitally. They have tons of photographs. They have thousands and thousands of Instagram posts.”
Nothing says minimalism like a WeWork insta-selfie.