By Stephanie Rudenko, Volunteer
As we know from the TPA’s recent Freedom Factbook, freedom has changed the world.
Freedom can be used in many ways. Deliveroo, Uber, WhatsApp, CityMapper and Hinge are all apps and services that have used the freedom of technology to innovate and try new things.
Many of them are widely used by students, to relieve certain burdens while they are away at university. Uni can be a difficult time for students, but thankfully, there have been many apps launched in recent years that in ease these difficulties and, in doing so, give all students more freedom of choice. That in turn let’s them focus on their studies, instead of worrying about cooking, travelling, and dating. So freedom isn’t just enjoyable - it’s also pretty useful too.
The online food delivery company, Deliveroo, was created in 2013 and has gone from strength to strength. Deliveroo operates in over 100 towns and cities across the UK, working with more than 8,000 partner restaurants and 15,000 riders. Along with other apps like UberEats and JUSTEAT, these have given thousands of people the chance to select and access almost any food they like. In the UK in 2018, on average, there are 600,122 active users of food delivery daily.
Serving so many towns and cities relieves students of the burden of cooking and increases the variety of foods they can enjoy. Around exam time, these apps are very handy indeed!
It is not only food delivery apps which are working for students. The app Uber has become a phenomenon among students for being convenient and cheap. Public transportation can be unreliable at times, and also not available 24 hours a day. Not ideal for the end of a night out! But Uber can be there to save the day. After all, students who move away to university have a limited need to use a car on campus, so they revert to other options. Plus, students do not tend to carry cash, so the convenience of paying via an app is exactly what they need.
The usage stats for Uber confirm how popular it is with younger adults. In London alone, there are 40,000 drivers and 3.5m Londoners who use it. Within those 3.5 million Londoners, 27.5% of Uber riders are aged 18-24, 16% are 24-34, 9% are 35-44, 7% of riders are 45-54 and only 3% are 55+.
With the creation of these apps, more freedom of choice has given to students, compared to the days of badly cooked student meals and expensive minicabs. Uber and Deliveroo, and apps like them, have been almost perfectly designed to provide students freedom from traditional restraints and allows them to make decisions that benefit them, their quality of life and their studies.
That’s a huge thing to thank freedom for. These apps are not designed or regulated by the government. They don’t cost the taxpayer a penny. They rely on competition and a free market, using technology to offer new services and win customers.
That’s why freedom has changed the world. And it starts on campus.