The Rise of Paranoia Apps

The NSA’s tapping our phones, kids aren’t safe in their own schools, and there’s a sex offender on every block. Welcome to the age of paranoia. Being afraid of risk, illness, and threats to personal safety are certainly not new phenomena, but these days fear seems to have reached a fever pitch; and technology has given a new twist to terror. Today, there seems to be an app for every fear that we might have.

While these apps and tools like them may help alleviate fears in some ways, they are likely to only amplify them in others. Like the constant media attention given to fear-mongering stories in the last two decades has made Millennials feel they are almost always at risk, the constant presence of apps like these could make users feel like the world is a more dangerous place than it actually is. Our Q&A with “America’s Worst Mom” Lenore Skanezy, and look at some of the hypotheses about the next generation last week both delved into the affect that living in a fear-ruled world might have on post-Millennials. In using paranoia apps, many of which are aimed at keeping children safe and parents’ fears at bay, from a young age, they are potentially being taught that they need these tools in order to safely navigate the world. For young and post-Millennials, connectivity and easy access to information meant to assuage fears might instead serve to increase those fears; which could influence their view of the world. Here’s a look at some of the paranoia apps and tools available now:

 

1. Evado Filip

In 2009, Sten Kirkbak lost his young son Filip in a mall. His son was found quickly, but the panic he felt ultimately led to the invention of Evado Filip, an app to keep parents constantly connected to their kids. This year, the company is premiering their first product: VIVOplay, a small…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

“The issue I am most passionate about is jobs/unemployment, because I need a job.”

—Female, 24, OH

Half of all 13-17-year-olds are on Snapchat, according to Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker—so what are they really doing on there? One BuzzFeed writer observed his 13-year-old sister to find out how to “Snapchat like the teens,” and learned that the “app is [her] life.” She wakes up every morning to respond to about 40 incoming snaps with selfies, which she can do in under a minute. Responding is crucial, streaks (responding every day without a break) are “the MOST important thing,” filters are “VERY big,” and “EVERYONE looks at Cosmo on Discover.” When asked about her dad’s reaction to her incessant snapping she answered: “Parents don’t understand. It’s about being there in the moment.” (BuzzFeed

The Tab, a student-targeted site with articles on campus life and local stories, is not ready to let go of their 2.5 million monthly readers preparing to graduate—so they’ve expanded. The Tab National is targeting for 20-somethings, and describes itself as as “the Vice for people who don’t think that Uber or pop-up markets are necessarily a bad thing.” The Tab’s top-tier U.S. and U.K. university sites have captivated advertisers, who are guaranteed that their sponsored posts will get at least 25,000 page views—more than half of brand stories on the site are getting 50,000. (Digiday

You may have heard that Twitter is reworking their timeline algorithm, but what does that mean for brands? The new layout will use an algorithm to showcase the most relevant tweets, and “collated tweets from brands, athletes, politicians and other public figures will appear at the top of the timeline” so users won’t miss any trending conversations. For brands this means well-thought out content will still be key as “[t]he algorithm will likely favor content with higher engagement.” It could also mean more exposure: “organic posts [will] have the ability to drive enormous engagement and cause a buzz.” (The Drum

According to Pew’s new data, Millennial Democrats are far more likely than older generations and their Republican peers to get their political updates through social media, with 74% who are very likely going to participate in their state’s primary or caucus saying they learned about the election through a social site, compared to 50% of Millennial Republicans. Millennial Democrats are also the most likely to identify themselves as liberal: in 2015, half (49%) labeled themselves as liberals, compared to 41% of Gen X, 40%(of Boomer, and 35% of Silent Democrats. (Pew Research Center)

Luxury menswear brand John Varavatos’s shoppable, touchable video ad powered by Cinematique prompted eight times more Facebook engagement than standard videos. Viewers can click or tap clothing like as the video plays, and at the end of the ad are shown the collection they chose, leading to product pages on the website. According to recent data, 33% of fashion video are considered mainly “brand-building,” and only 16% of brands use shoppable videos. But that could shift as more marketers adjust to consumers’ video-consumption behaviors. (WWDDigiday)

Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

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