Sharing the Road: The Post-Internet-Hitchhiker, 16:08 min
Blake Paul Kendall
Offering further commentary on specific platforms, the practice-led-research and article: Sharing the Road: The Post-Internet-Hitchhiker by Embodied / #BlakePaulKendall(Australia) explores the relationship of hitchhikers using the platforms BlaBlaCar, Hitchwiki, Couch Surfing, TrustRoots and Hitch Gathering. Although the platforms vary in functionality, according to the author, they collectively inform tangible relationships on hitchhiking in a post-internet age. He offers that the very essence of the share economy is brought into question with research participants marking the distinction between aspects of profit revenue, means of exchange and the limits between the actual and virtual worlds. In so doing, this research bypasses the rhetoric of ‘gift exchange’ dominating literature of hitching, and explores the aspects of community building through the informed adoption of share economy rhetoric. The road, as employed as an example of a non-place, is redefined within the workings of intimate interplay between hitchhikers and drivers, hosting an alternate economy that is supported through the engagement with digital platforms. The research seeks to reveal how hitchhiking in a digital world has impacted on the behavior, exchange and community of hitchhikers within Germany and across Europe.