The Economics of Fear

Fear can be a powerful motivator. Marketers are well aware of this. Even flower shops around valentines day hint at what will happen if you forget to buy SOMETHING. People will do almost anything when afraid, this includes buying something. This is sometimes a very subtle form of manipulation that is hard spot. I don’t know about you, but I dislike being manipulated, especially if I have to be afraid at the same time.

I made a decision a long time ago to face and address all my fears. If I am afraid it is usually because there is something I don’t know. As a child I was afraid of the dark because I didn’t know what was in the dark. As an adult, I know what’s in the dark and I am no longer afraid of it. See my point? Learning more about the dark reduced my fear of it, and freed up my options on how to deal with it.

Now as an adult, there are more legitimate things to be afraid of. There are some real dangers that must be addressed, there is a marketing fad right now preying on people’s fears around some vague collapse or doomsday. We saw the same thing in 1999 with the Y2K bug. People expected planes to fall out of the sky and bank accounts to empty. I remember being asked by people and commercials, Are you ready for Y2K? To which I replied, Do I own a computer with a four digit date code? Yes, yes I do. Because the solution to the Y2K bug was a simple software update. That’s it, update your software, problem solved.

There is a similar trend happening today. Preparing for disaster has gone mainstream. In general, I support the individuals who decide to prepare. But with mainstream attention comes the fear tactics. The message changes from, this product will help you survive, to you need this product, you will die without it. The only difference between the two messages is fear.

I try to judge any product or service I buy on the value it will add to my life, not the fear they try to get me to feel.

Getting past the fear takes work and preparation. Research the products available, research possible disasters and how they disrupted daily life. Learn what is most likely to affect you where you live and plan accordingly. Most of all, DON’T BE AFRAID!!! BE PREPARED!!!

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