The Business of Selling Fear

“AI will take all jobs.” “You shouldn’t be in your job if you do not know y”. I see these posts everyday on X from various Twitter gurus. These statements seem to do nothing but scare folks. It feels like they’re more into fear-mongering than anything truly insightful, similar to a street-corner astrologer warning of dire consequences just to make a quick buck. Despite that, why do these gurus have massive popularity? Because tech workers already feel insecure about their futures.

In a post ZIRP era coupled with layoffs and advancements in AI, tech workforce is faced to question their value to their employer. Most fear peddlers just amplify these anxieties, hoping to boost their own following or sell their courses. It doesn’t take much for them to sensationalise and confidently lie about the future. But in this process, they shake the confidence of a 22 year old who’s just starting out in his/her carreer. It’s sad to see that the anxiety of our youth can be exploited for profit. I do not know the right answer to solve this, but things can definitely be improved if Twitter gurus start to question the consequences of their posts. They are called “influencers” for a reason. I’m not saying that all posts are meant to instill fear in the audience, but most posts are for profit or follower maximisation.

My suggestion to young individuals would be to critically assess everything they read online. Take this advice for instance, “traveling in your 20s is essential because you won’t enjoy it as much later in life.” People pushing these ideas often haven’t lived enough to speak with authority. My dad, who just turned 57, travels way more than many younger folks sitting behind their laptops. If you have a severe financial crunch, your travel plans can definitely wait. Don’t feel FOMOed by such posts. These “influencers” are just trying to justify their reasoning behind their recent decision to go on a trip and their spends. Be wary of generic life advice floating around like “It’s meant to be” or “You’ll fail if you’re not working 70 hours a week.” These blanket statements can be more harmful than helpful. To reduce anxiety and avoid doubting your worth, apply a filter of context to everything you read or listen. Consider your own situation before taking any advice to heart. By doing so, you’ll likely find yourself in a far reasonable state than if you absorbed every fear-inducing post on your feed. Prioritise a better future over externally triggered fear.

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