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 like shopping at Staples because they have good prices on supplies I need for school [and] electronics or other devices I may need.” –Female, 17, ID

For urban Millennials, getting married doesn’t necessarily mean saying goodbye to roommates. Members of the generation continue to mature into adulthood in an untraditional way, and with rent increasing dramatically, some are choosing living as husband and wife and roomie over a moving to smaller place, or having a longer commute. This acceptance of communal living could be a reflection of the rise of the sharing economy, as it becomes the norm to share everything from rides to the kitchen. (New York Times)

Although most of today’s 18-24-year-olds were still in high school or college during the Great Recession, it’s still affecting their career choices today. A survey from Way to Work found that 70% would prefer a stable job over a job they were passionate about but offered little security, and one third said finding that secure job was their top concern. 34% of Millennials named financial stability as their greatest aspiration. (Forbes)

According to some teens, “MTV is dying.” Hoping to reverse that sentiment, MTV will be introducing eight new series, and has 85 more in development, that are meant to reflect Millennials’ “unbridled optimism.” Upcoming series include a reality show about YouTube star Todrick Hall and a scripted comedy around Vine star Logan Paul—MTV likely has their fingers crossed these social media stars will bring their fans to the network. (Adweek)

YouTube channel AwesomenessTV has successfully hooked hundreds of thousands of young viewers, and now they’re setting their sights on a new audience: Millennial moms. Their new network Awestruck will premiere later this year, offering a wide range of female-centric series, from comedy to drama to talk shows featuring both online stars and Hollywood celebrities. The network hopes that young moms will turn to them as they consume more online video content. (StreamDaily)

What does it take to become “Insta-famous?” Sometimes it just takes being photographed in the right place at the right time. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte D’Alessio amassed tens of thousands of followers in just a few days when a photo of her and her best friend, model Josie Canseco, went viral at Coachella. From there Canseco and D’Alessio appeared on celebrities’ feeds, the Coachella account, and new fans’ Tumblr posts. The girls’ viral status speaks to how quickly notoriety can amass for young consumers in the age or micro-fame. (BuzzFeed)

Want to know Millennials' favorite fast food chain? How often they're dining out? What they order? Our most recent topline and date on 13-32-year-olds gave Gold subscribers the inside scoop on all their food and dining preferences. We deliver in-depth tables and a visual report to them every two weeks, covering another aspect of young consumers' behaviors, beliefs, and more. (Ypulse)

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