There is a revolution underway that is transforming consumption. If the twentieth century was marked by hyper-consumption the twenty-first century will be marked by collaborative consumption. This new form of consumption is being facilitated by a wide range of technological innovations. Social media is a great example of technologies that contribute to the new model of consumption. Examples include things like localized bartering and exchange, gifting and freecycling, local networking clubs, and websites that help people to find what they are looking for.
Craigslist is one of the best examples of the new model of consumption. The DIY movement is another example of the new model of consumption. People are doing things for themselves this both reduces costs and minimizes consumption. Even the ways we access information are being radically transformed by new technology. The extraordinary growth of citizen journalism and the proliferation of online content shows how information is being disseminated without having to buy a newspaper or magazine.
Crowdsourcing and carrot-mobs are other ways that consumers are changing traditional paradigms of consumption. People now have direct digital access to millions and they are using these technologies to find what they want often without ever stepping foot in a store.
We can expect that entrepreneurs will continue to develop new ways to help people find what they want. Albeit without necessarily being conscious of the implications, they are dramatically and irrevocably changing our patterns of consumption.