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

Quote of the Day: "I do not want any of the candidates currently in the running to win the election.”—Male, 22, FL

Snapchat clone Snow is continuing to pull in massive numbers. In a little over a year, the app which lets users add effects, stickers, and filters to their selfies, share their images and videos in a “Story,” and send self-destructing messages, has over 80 million downloads—in comparison, Snapchat had about 10 million downloads in a year after launching. Despite the majority of downloads stemming from Asia—particularly in China where Snapchat is banned—brands like Burger King and Nescafe are jumping on the platform by introducing stickers that can be used on the app globally. (Digiday)

The credit card that has gone viral with young consumers has launched their first marketing campaign. “Reserve What’s Next” is a video series for Chase Sapphire Reserve, featuring James Corden interviewing “innovators in the restaurant, transportation, and lodging fields.” It is aimed “at travelers interested in what’s next in travel,” which describes experience-hungry Millennials. The president of Ypulse, Dan Coates, says the behind-the-scenes approach of the new ads will especially appeal to young consumers, because they “love to geek out over things, digging into the process behind the product.” (The New York Times

They may be digitally-savvy, but Millennials are falling for tech scams more often than you think. A global survey from Microsoft and the National Cyber Security Alliance, found that two in three consumers have experienced a tech support scam in the past year, and 50% of 18-34-year-olds reported to have “continued with a fraudulent interaction.” Pop-ups, unsolicited email, and scam websites have given “an edge” to scammers, who are using them to trick even the “savviest members” of the generation. (Fox News

Nature is often the backdrop for ads targeting Millennials, but many times its intention often misses the mark. The “Millennials-gone-wild” trend in advertising is evoking a sense of freedom for young consumers and allows them to be “more in touch with things that are real, things that are natural as a counter effect to all the digital they have around them.” However, brands need to stay aware of over-saturation, particularly within the apparel industry where the imagery has become stylized and less authentic. (MarketWatch

Dole Food Co. is joining forces with Disney to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies. To fulfill their shared mission of “providing high quality produce to help families lead healthier lives," Dole and Walt Disney Co. have produced a new line of produce branded with Disney characters that will be sold starting next month. The strategy is in line with the food industry’s shift in marketing to focus on parents when selling kids’ products by emphasizing 'health-related benefits,' and adding 'all natural' and 'no sugar' labels. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Day: “The issue I most care about during this presidential election is how we are going to resolve this massive student loan problem.”—Male, 23, PA

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