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 think Dove does the best job of appealing to people my age. Their ads encourage women to love themselves and to build each other up.” –Female, 28, PA

Here’s a weird, but potentially important, app to know: teens are reportedly flocking to YouNow, a live-streaming platform where they hang out with each other, chat, create music, or sleep. (Yes, sleep—there’s even a popular #sleepsquad hashtag that trends at night.) While Meerkat and Periscope have adults’ attention, 70% of YouNow users are under 24-years-old. These young consumers can purchase points on the app they use to tip other users, or to keep their messages at the top of the comment section in a feed. Live-streaming channels on YouNow include #musicians, #dancing, #girls, and #truthordare—and the app says they invest a lot into keeping it a safe space for the teens who love it. (BuzzFeed)

Acura is targeting Millennials with a social media campaign that focuses on the emotion of music and driving. The brand tapped eight up-and-coming artists to create original electronic songs for their newest entry-luxury car. Each track represents one of the eight gears of the new sporty ILX sedan, and as listeners move through the playlist, the music increases in velocity. For Millennials, luxury is no longer strictly defined by whistles and bells, and is shifting to center around authenticity and experience, so highlighting the emotional elements of their product could be a move in the right direction for the brand. The songs are posted on Acura’s Tumblr, where they have reportedly been downloaded seven million times so far. (Ad Age)

Millennials are known for being more progressive and open-minded than previous generations, but what exactly do they think is moral and immoral? A new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute tested their views on various sexual behaviors and found that 42% of 18-34-year-olds believe homosexuality is morally acceptable, which is more than those who believe casual sex is morally acceptable (37%), or sex between teenagers is acceptable (24%). The research says that 38% of this age group believes sex between two adults of the same gender is morally wrong, though we should note that Ypulse’s survey on Millennials’ LGBT views found them to be far more open. (Washington Post)

Millennials love a good deal, and 55% of 18-34-years-olds say they download coupons from coupon websites, compared to 38% of 35-54-year-olds and 21% of those over 54. The digital discount trend is reshaping how online retailers are building their business models. Jet.com, a startup putting itself up against Amazon, offers consumers a small membership fee to receive access to savings. It’s being predicted that while e-commerce becomes the place for discounts, retail locations will become cheaper distribution hubs with well-trained employees shaping stores into “knowledge centers.” (Inc.)

A new wave of digitally savvy models is taking social media and advertising by storm. “The Instagirls,” a title coined by Vogue, are Millennial models like Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and Karlie Kloss who have been catapulted to fame thanks to their massive social media klout. While models used to have an air of mystery and exclusivity, the trend of being open, candid, and accessible has earned them millions of followers who want to see relatable celebrities. Brands have taken notice, and these young models are achieving both high fashion and commercial success, “a rarity since the supermodel era of the '90s.” (Adweek)

Did you know 73% of Millennials over 18-years-old have shopped at online stores like Amazon or eBay in the past month? This week's Ypulse topline report breaks down stats about where this generation shops and how they approach religion and spirituality. Twice a month, our topline report synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points from our most recent survey of Millennials for our Gold subscribers, giving them relevant statistics streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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