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 accept friend requests on social media from people I don’t know or have mutual friends with to broaden my horizons; meet people I otherwise wouldn't in day-to-day life.”—Male, 23, MN

Vice’s fastest growing division is news, and the media brand has struck gold with younger audiences by filling the “big white space” co-founder Shane Smith says was created by “perception that Gen Y didn’t really care about news which is obviously not true.” Their unconventional approach to news has been incredibly successful with the generation, and their new channel Viceland will continue to cover the stories that young viewers are passionate about. Prioritizing young people’s point of view is a part of how the network is run. Smith explains, “the BBC isn’t going to give a 23-year-old kid straight out of college $10 million to make a TV show–but we are. It’s about taking risks.” (Creative Review

Millennials are at a greater risk to be scammed than the elderly. A new survey released by the Better Business Bureau revealed that almost 90% seniors have been able to spot a scam in time, compared to 66% of Millennials. The BBB cites online scams like the request of usernames and passwords from “official-looking” emails as the most common. Our recent trend The Privacy Issue found that Millennials assume security is part of the deal when using trusted sites for email, social media, and even payments, with 65% of 13-33-year-olds saying they assume the websites they visit are secure. (Airdrie City View)

Mobile wallets have become one of the main channels that Millennials would prefer that brands send them sales and offers on. Along with email, websites, and apps, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay have become logical platforms for brands to use to send out marketing messaging to young consumers. Campaigns like loyalty programs, push messaging, and digital coupons can all be held on mobile wallet platforms. Over half of consumers say they have used mobile wallets and 30% say they have used them in the past week. (MediaPost

AT&T Hello Lab and Rooster Teeth are looking for the next big competitive gaming star. The digital series Schooled will be following the digital media company’s co-founder as he puts together a team of 8-12-year-old gamers to take on his experienced staff in a “winner-take-all finale.” Rooster Teeth, best known for “web classic” Red Vs. Blue and the Let’s Play franchise, hopes to be “the next big gaming sensation” with young players, and introduce their brand to a younger audience. (StreamDaily

According to an Adobe survey, over half of Millennials say that email is their preferred option to be contacted by a brand—so what’s the best way to use it? Thinking mobile is a good start. The same study found that 88% of Millennials are using smartphone to check their emails, so marketers need to find the best strategy to “optimize their content and campaigns for mobile devices to effectively convey their messages.” Including social media links to continue the conversation and going image heavy is also crucial. (Huffington Post

Quote of the Day: “Whether I want to draw, paint, read, study, or dance, influences the kind of music I listen to.”—Female, 25, GA

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