Fear is a powerful motivator of human behavior

Fear is a powerful motivator of human behavior – “For Millennials, Social Media Is Not All Fun and Games” http://ow.ly/4KaBb

For Millennials (otherwise known as Generation Y and born roughly between 1980 and 2000) the always-on, constantly connected nature of technology – the most recent incarnations of which being driven by the success of social networks and the proliferation of mobile devices – has its drawbacks.  The “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO) is a term coined by MTV following a recent study of Millennials yielded some interesting (and startling) observations:

  • Over half of the respondents agreed with the statement “what I post online defines who I am”
  • 66% said that it is “exhausting to always be ‘on'”
  • 58% concurred with the assertion that “when I’m unplugged, I worry that I’m missing out on something”

Many of these observations are essentially rehashing what people have known or suspected about our immature and evolving relationship with technology – it is the proverbial “double edged sword.”  All mammals – especially humans – are “social animals” or those that are highly interactive with other members of their species “to the point of having a recognizable and distinct society.”  Recent advancements have certainly allowed us to increase the breath and immediacy (although perhaps not the depth) of these interactions.  In fact, a recent article by the New York Times’ Jenna Wortham summed up the FOMO conundrum beautifully.

“One recent rainy night, I curled up on my couch with popcorn and Netflix Instant, ready to spend a quiet night at home. The peace was sweet — while it lasted. Soon, my iPhone began flashing with notifications from a handful of social networking sites, each a beacon of information about what my friends were doing.

As the alerts came in, my mind began to race. Three friends, I learned, had arrived at a music venue near my apartment. But why? What was happening there? Then I saw pictures of other friends enjoying fancy milkshakes at a trendy restaurant. Suddenly, my simple domestic pleasures paled in comparison with the things I could be doing.

The flurry of possibilities set off a rush of restlessness and indecision. I was torn between nesting in my cozy roost or rallying for an impromptu rendezvous, and I just didn’t know what to do.”

Based on the study performed by MTV, Ms. Wortham is certainly not alone in her anxiety and indecision.  Although I’m technically not a Gen Y Millennial,  I’ve found that when fending off any feeling of FOMO “the best defense is a good offense” – balance doses of social media with healthy spans of being unplugged.

The scale Facebook brings to the social coupon market is staggering

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The scale Facebook brings to the social coupon market is staggering – “The Daily Deals Bandwagon Dissected” http://ow.ly/4Kayg

Good for Square; very smart and simple start-up business

Good for Square; very smart and simple start-up business – “Square Sets New Record: $2M Processed in One Day” http://ow.ly/4Kaxd

Amazon comes clean about their cloud outage

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Amazon comes clean about their cloud outage – “Amazon Finally Apologizes & Explains Cloud Outage In-Depth” http://ow.ly/4JFkh

This just in – Android to overtake Apple’s app market sooner than you think

Android Market

Image via Wikipedia

This just in – Android to overtake Apple’s app market sooner than you think – “Google to take Apple’s app crown by July” http://ow.ly/4IBD8

Hopefully everyone is sitting down for this announcement

Hopefully everyone is sitting down for this announcement – “Social Media Has Little Impact on Online Retail Purchases” http://ow.ly/4IBSw