Let's Get Reacquainted With The Nightmare That Is "Podshare"

Let's Get Reacquainted With The Nightmare That Is "Podshare"

Have you ever wanted to spend most of your monthly income on the privilege of sleeping on a cot surrounded by strangers? Well then, you're in luck, because Podshare provides the all the accommodations of prison with the smug attitude of coastal hipsters.

Podshare, created by entrepreneur Elvira Beck, is essentially a hostel. For $50-$60 a night, or $1400-$1500 a month, you can have access to a bunk bed in a central location in Los Angeles or San Fransisco, California. Customers are surrounded by strangers (so no boinking is permitted) but are provided some amenities such as bikes, a common area, video games, and free WiFi. All in all, this is not a revolutionary concept, but it sure is pitched like one.

The Podshare first started gaining media attention around 2016, when sites like Vice and NPR covered the company, giving a relatively favorable overview of the company and the living situation, though they featured some eye-rolling quotes from Beck ("We're creating a social network with a physical address," "We build the pods surrounding a common area, never a corner or boxing anyone out. If community was a shape, it would be a circle.") Buzzfeed posted a very successful video in which they compared the situation to summer camp.

The Podshare returned to the public consciousness yesterday when LA City Controller Ron Galperin tweeted that the Podshare was "an innovative (solution) to housing in the midst of rising rents and high costs in Los Angeles."

This time around, the commentary on Podshares was less enthusiastic. Many Twitter users were horrified to learn that Podshares were a thing, comparing it to a "refugee experience" and a concentration camp.

Others noted that the supposedly "affordable" alternative Podshare offers to traditional living situations was actually still quite expensive.

Perhaps if the marketing for Podshare eased up on the idea that it is a legitimate, sustainable solution to rising housing costs, the backlash wouldn't be as harsh. After all, the idea seems like a reasonably neat, albeit aggressively friendly hostel, but clearly, the idea of being in full view of strangers 24 hours a day, including while sleeping, has not jived with Twitter. As user @itsnonbb put it:

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