Sharing is the joint use of a resource or space. It is also the process of dividing and distributing. In its narrow sense, it refers to joint or alternating use of inherently finite goods, such as a common pasture or a shared residence. Still more loosely, "sharing" can actually mean giving something as an outright gift: for example, to "share" one's food really means to give some of it as a gift. Sharing is a basic component of human interaction, and is responsible for strengthening social ties and ensuring a person’s well-being.

Apart from obvious instances, which we can observe in human activity, we can also find many examples of this happening in nature. When an organism takes in nutrition or oxygen for instance, its internal organs are designed to divide and distribute the energy taken in, to supply parts of its body that need it. Flowers divide and distribute their seeds. In a broader sense, it can also include free granting of use rights to goods that can be treated as nonrival goods, such as information. [1]

In computer and Internet culture

File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information, such as computer programs, multi-media (audio, video), documents, or electronic books. It may be implemented through a variety of ways. Storage, transmission, and distribution models are common methods of file sharing incorporate manual sharing using removable media, centralized computer file server installations on computer networks, World Wide Web-based hyperlinked documents, and the use of distributed peer-to-peer networking (see peer-to-peer file sharing).

Sharing is a key feature in the developing field of free software and open source software, with implications for economics. This is leading to a need to review licensing, patents and copyright, and to controversy in these areas, as well as new approaches like Creative Commons and the GPL.

Furthermore, sharing is a key feature of Internet culture in which images, videos, links, knowledge and other content are shared on Web 2.0-platforms such as reddit.[2][3]

In computer science

In computer science, the issue of handling shared resources figures prominently. For example, time-sharing is an approach to interactive computing in which a single computer is used to provide apparently simultaneous interactive general-purpose computing to multiple users by sharing processor time. Sharing of resources between processes and threads is the source of most of the difficulties of concurrent programming. The word "sharing" is also used in some functional programming communities to refer specifically to sharing of memory between different data items to save space, otherwise known as hash consing.

In households

Resource sharing—called kaláka in Hungarian—is an old tradition in Hungary. Young couples had to build their house after marriage. Marriage itself was called házasodás in Hungarian (en: becoming the owner of a house). When doing so the whole community, relatives and acquaintances helped the young couple with work, knowledge and even money. At pigsticking, all members of the community got their shares too. Superfluous plants were freely distributed for neighbours in the season.

In most cultures, members of the same household tend to pool their resources.

In a market

Market sharing occurs when competitors agree to divide or allocate customers, suppliers or territories among themselves rather than allowing competitive market forces to work.[4]

Market sharing can include:

  • allocating customers by geographic area
  • dividing contracts by value within an area

Also agreeing not to:

  • compete for established customers
  • produce each other’s products or services
  • expand into a competitor’s market

Market sharing is generally an illegal practice as it violates anti-trust laws and the basic principles of the free market. Market sharing mainly occur in the form of cartels like the Guadalajara Cartel, which was the first Mexican drug cartel to consolidate the production and supply of illegal marijuana into a single organization.

Sharing in a market may also refer to the temporary or permanent transfer of information and other physical as well as intellectual property, but this is generally accompanied by the exchange of money.

In religions

Information and knowledge

  • The KJV Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:2 says that having all the knowledge in the world is useless, without the desire for charity (sharing).
  • The Douay-Rheims Bible, Philippians 1:9 says "And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge, and in all understanding".
  • In editions of the Christian Bible, Hosea 4:6 says that obstruction of the flow of knowledge could be the destruction of mankind.
  • Vidya Daan (विद्या दान) translated as Knowledge Charity, a concept in Daan, is a tenet of all Dharmic religions that also values the sharing of Knowledge.[5][6]
  • Gyan yoga, Jnana yoga (ज्ञान योग) translated as Wisdom Exercise or Knowledge Path, is the sacred search for True Knowledge, in all Dharmic religions.
  • In Hinduism, Right Knowledge is a form of God, and anything that Knowledge is written on or recorded on is considered sacred, to be protected from obscurity:

अपूर्व: कोपि कोशोयं विद्यते तव भारति ।
व्ययतो वॄद्धिम् आयाति क्षयम् आयाति संचयात् ॥

  • Translation: Oh Goddess Saraswati, your treasure of knowledge (Vidya) is indeed very amazing! If used (shared) it grows and if unused (obscured) it shrinks!
  • In Islam, Muhammad said: "Wisdom is the lost property of the faithful; wherever he finds it he has the right to take it"[7]
Muhammad also said: "Whoever is asked about a knowledge that he knows about and then hides it and keeps it away, he will be bridled on the day of judgement with a bridle of fire."[8]

See also



  1. Poquérusse, Jessie. "The Neuroscience of Sharing". Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  2. John, Nicholas A. (2013) Sharing and Web 2.0: The emergence of a keyword. New Media & Society, March 2013 vol. 15 no. 2 167-182
  3. Herman, Andrew; Hadlaw, Jan; Swiss, Thom. Theories of the Mobile Internet: Materialities and Imaginaries. Routledge. ISBN 9781317911128. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  4. Commission, Australian Competition and Consumer (2013-01-09). "Market sharing". Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  5. Sanskrit slokas about Vidya
  6. Vidya Daan: about
  7. Sunan Tirmidhi Tradition:4159, Sunan Ibn Majah Tradition:9784, Ibid Tradition:9785, Mishkat al-Masabih Tradition:216
  8. Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi
  • Media related to Sharing at Wikimedia Commons
  • Sharing Issue by online magazine Digital Development Debates, 2016.
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