The Best Things in Life Are Free; the Non-Economic Paradigm of Sharing in Cyberspace

Most consumer interaction in cyberspace takes place on a type of websites generally dubbed as social networking sites. This paper explores consumer activities on such sites and finds that much of this social networking is about sharing of thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences. It argues that such sites are new playgrounds for the consumers and represent only the contemporary battle fields in a continual marketplace / social space discourse of power. It argues that devoid of economic gains or leverages, such social networking sites replace marketplace's economic system with social space's non-economic paradigm of sharing. It concludes by arguing that consumer freedom is directly linked to consumer authority, and that the non-economic allocation of resources on the basis of sharing perhaps provides the consumers with ultimate authority in these cyber-social spaces.


Shakeel Siddiqui and Farida Rifai (2011) ,"The Best Things in Life Are Free; the Non-Economic Paradigm of Sharing in Cyberspace", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 128-135.


Shakeel Siddiqui, DBS Ireland
Farida Rifai, HSE, Ireland


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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