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

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


O12. When do People Waste Time? Testing a Mechanism for Parkinson’s Law.

Holly S Howe, Duke University, USA
Tanya Chartrand, Duke University, USA

Read More


G4. That's So Sweet: Baby Cuteness Semantically Activates Sweetness to Increase Sweet Food Preference

Shaheer Ahmed Rizvi, University of Alberta, Canada
Sarah G Moore, University of Alberta, Canada
Paul Richard Messinger, University of Alberta, Canada

Read More


Mistaking the Journey for the Destination: Overestimating the Fruits of (More) Labor

Eva C Buechel, University of Southern California, USA
Carey K. Morewedge, Boston University, USA
Jiao Zhang, University of Oregon, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.