The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The fear business model

Time is the most valuable resource human beings have. That’s because it is the only resource that isn’t renewable.

From a service provider’s perspective, it’s different. For them, the most important resource is the attention they can get. It’s how they gain access to our time. It’s how they can own our time. And once they own our time, they have made us their customer.

What led to especially fierce competition between service providers is that beyond the quest for customers they added the quest for users to whom they provide a free service. Basically, a free service means, that the user has hardly any hurdle requesting his engagement with the product. It is a situation where the user feels free to leave anytime.

It makes it important for many service providers to lock the user in. To have his attention at all times.

The easiest way to do so is to provide him with a source of strong emotions.

What’s problematic here, is that the only emotions that can be generated at scale from the outside are fear and the anger resulting from that fear.

In our quest to stay aware of all the danger that awaits us, our attention is most easily pulled by everything that generates fear. It’s how we find ourselves with an ever-growing number of sources providing us with information aimed at serving our fear.

This most likely will just continue to amplify. Reinforced by all the ideas and solutions suggested to enable ourselves to protect ourselves from that fear. Generating further resistance to fear and a stronger desire to feel safe.

It’s a vicious cycle.

A more challenging but also rewarding approach is to step into that fear and confront it.

It happens by becoming interested in the context generating that fear. By being curious about the data that can reveal the state leading to that fear. By allowing oneself to check in with reality and its relationship with the fear we find ourselves subject to.

It’s finding if there is a context in which that fear has a reason to exist and deciding if it is one we can do something about.

That is where finding what we can do about it, that gives fear a chance to dissolve.

However, fear will stay whenever we expect ourselves to be able to do something about it. Our expectations about ourselves serving as a fantasy that we should have a magical solution. While we may hope for it, we also instinctively know that it doesn’t exist. With hope keeping fear at bay, we created a temporary relief until something new grabs our attention and reminds us of the fear we’ve been dealing with.


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