Why Do People Believe In Aliens, Angels and Conspiracies?
Is it just us, or does it seem like everyone is turning into a conspiracy theorist these days?
Aliens, spirit guides, the Illuminati – name some mysterious pocket of paranoia or eccentric belief, and there is some kind of massive online community dedicated to understanding it.
While conducting research for our recent white paper on the explosion of Conscious Media, we noticed that one particular subsegment of the Conscious Media Consumer market - the "Mystery Hunter" - is on the rise. No longer limited to a fringe subculture, we discovered that people from all walks of life - from millennials to suburban moms - are becoming fascinated by strange belief systems...
What is driving people to entertain the supernatural and outlandish? Two powerful cultural shifts are accelerating this trend:
1) Religion on the decline:
The Pew Research Center dropped a bombshell report late last year revealing that "one out of five U.S. adults do not identify with a specific religion, and the number of Protestants has for the first time dipped significantly below 50 percent." The decline of religion has created a huge vacuum. Whereas historically most people have relied on the guiding narrative of religion to inform their life decisions and moral choices, now many have withdrawn from organized religion. Yet they often still hunger for something to believe in. People want to believe because they are increasingly open-minded and there is more that is inexplicable as traditional institutions break down. This new mindset was recently highlighted in the popular Salon article “Religion may not survive the Internet,” which details how factors such as the proliferation of “cool” science media (think Neil deGrasse Tyson’s work) has promoted a more scientific point of view.
2) The Ubiquity of Information:
The Internet has provided a unique platform for niche interests to proliferate. And in a noisy environment, weirdness rises to the top -- content creators need fresh novelty to continually attract views. This primes the modern content consumer to entertain unusual ideas. Add this to the speed and amplification effect of the Internet, and you have a recipe for success.
Time will tell where this swell of non-traditional beliefs will lead society as a whole, but to understand the conscious consumer further and find some clues, please read our report for more information.
If you would to go deeper and understand how your company can sync with the Conscious Consumer market, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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