Airbnb introduces the world to apartment sharing

Michael Read, Reporter

Sharing the bill at dinner is totally normal. Sharing a cookie is always appreciated. And even ridesharing is starting to become the new trend. Well, like me, you’ve probably used Uber before.

Now only if we can get Uber to come to Western New York. Someday, folks, someday.

Nevertheless, ridesharing is a cool, affordable and a convenient form of transportation to get where you need to go while you’re on vacation or going out to the club.

I recently come across this new method of sharing but in the form of living. Apartment sharing. There is this new app called Airbnb.

Airbnb is an apartment sharing site that allows you to stay in either a shared room, private room or entire house for a desired amount of time. According to their website, “Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries.”

For a college student, this is a fantastic way to save money when booking somewhere to stay for a weekend away, or for spring break 2017. Hotels can be pricey, often too pricey, but with a hotel, you’re guaranteed an actual room. You are guaranteed the security and protection of a trusted hotel with privacy, and not someone else’s apartment.

To me, this website comes off as sketchy and unsafe, yet affordable. But the question you’ve got to keep in mind is: What is more important to you, financial flexibility or personal security? When renting a hotel room there is a preconceived notion that you and your belongings are safe. Sometimes saving a few dollars is worth the risk.

On the contrary, to my initial reaction, Airbnb appears to be a trusted site for apartment sharing. Their website reinforces their standards, which are filtered through: safety, security, fairness, authenticity and reliability.

Another reassuring factor if you do in fact look into apartment sharing for your next trip, is that they are extremely strict with verifying identification. Examples include images of what your potential room/apartment looks like, easy ways to communicate with your host/hostess and public reviews from others who have stayed in the exact apartment and dealt with the host/hostess.

It reinforces the credibility and legitimacy of the app and the idea of apartment sharing, enough so that Kim Kardashian West trusts the app, and actually uses it. It was posted on her Instagram page two weeks ago that she is staying in a five-bedroom, six-bathroom penthouse while Kanye West is on his Saint Pablo tour, and she is busy with New York Fashion Week.

And how much is Kim Kardashian West paying for this luxury penthouse? Well, the penthouse is listed for $323,000 a month. But Airbnb is giving her a complimentary stay. How nice.

Regardless, I can’t understand why anyone would want to share a room with a stranger or sleep in a private room in someone else’s apartment while they are in the next room. To me, that is weird, unsafe and pushing my privacy limits. No matter how cheap it may be, I would rather spend the $150/night on a hotel where I have my privacy and safety that no one will harm me when I am sleeping.

You be the judge though. If you are looking to save money and enjoy hanging out with strangers then by all means, more power to you.

To me, Airbnb is nothing more than a an Uber made for sleeping mixed together with Tinder and add a splash of Pokémon Go.

You’re asking for trouble.

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